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Vol. XL JANUARY, 1943 No. 5 

A Free Fellowship 

E. S. Ames 

One of the great promises of this New Year 1943 
for the Disciples of Christ is the clearer understand- 
ing and a fuller realization of their historic "plea" 
for a free fellowship of Christian believers. From 
the first they have sought to throw off the bondage 
of old theologies and of the creeds based upon those 
theologies. They have always made loyalty to Christ 
the central bond of fellowship. That loyalty has 
meant the attitude of fullest allegiance and devo- 
tion. The only test of fitness for the Christian life 
has been this reverence and esteem of Christ and 
the sincere desire to follow him. It has been recog- 
nized that individuals differ enormously in their 
capacity to appreciate the fullness of his life and 
the meaning of salvation through him. Obviously 
there are "babes" in Christ as well as those of greater 
maturity. Some are weak and some are strong but 
all are one with him so far as they cleave to him 
according to their ability. 

In the Millenial Harbinger for September, 1837, 
Alexander Campbell wrote in answer to the famous 
Lunenburg letter as follows: "But who is a Chris- 
tian? I answer, Every one that believes in his heart 
that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of 
God ; repents of his sins, and obeys him in all things 
according to his measure of knowledge of his will. 
... I cannot, therefore, make any one duty the 
standard of Christian state or character, not even 
immersion into the name of the Father, of the Son, 
and of the Holy Spirit, and in my heart regard all 
that have been sprinkled in infancy without their 


own knowledge and consent, as aliens from Christ 
and the well-grounded hope of heaven." 

This language may sound theological to many 
readers but the context shows that it is not. The 
words of the confession are honorific and not theo- 
logical. Young children may feel loyalty to Christ 
and may have very real appreciation of his love and 
of the appeal of his personality. But they cannot 
have understanding of such theological terms be- 
yond the honorific tone and attitude which they 
imply. In fact the most learned theologians and 
metaphysicians differ widely among themselves as 
to the meaning of their doctrinal language yet they 
may have fellowship together. Gradually they are 
realizing this and are more and more disposed to 
join in "ecumenical" conferences and practical en- 
terprises. Most of them recognize that this involves 
some compromise with their historic creeds but the 
urgent need of uniting against the evils of life im- 
pels them toward cooperation. More or less con- 
spicuously they minimize their theological differ- 
ences. The logical and practical outcome of this 
tendency is the complete and conscious discarding 
of those differences and a whole hearted acceptance 
of one another in the spirit of the underlying and 
pervasive fact of loyalty to Christ without theolog- 
ical interpretations. 

This is the position which the Disciples of Christ 
announced to the world more than a hundred years 
ago. What has hindered their full commitment to 
it in actual practice has been a misunderstanding 
of the teaching of Christ in one principle and in 
one formal observance. The one principle is that of 
the liberty wherewith Christ sets us free. That 
liberty is realized in love toward Christ. Love is the 
fulfilling of the Law and the Prophets. It involves 
faith in him and in his spirit of love. Love also 
means hope, hope for the fruits of love. A mother's 


love for her son carries with it faith in his possi- 
bilities for good and hope for his attainment of the 
good. To love God is to trust him and to hope for 
the coming of his kingdom of love. Love begets labor 
and sacrifice for the beloved. It is not calculating 
and prudent and self-seeking. It endeavors to be 
intelligent, useful, and efficient in practical ways. 
"Love suifereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; 
love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not 
behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not 
easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in 
iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth aHl 
things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, en- 
dureth all things. Love never faileth." 

Paul saw and felt the danger that those who had 
accepted this liberty of love might lose it by be- 
coming entangled again with the yoke of bondage 
to some legalism like circumcision or baptism. Paul 
said, "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach 
the gospel." If every Disciple minister should say 
that today, well, he would at least be true to the 
example of the great apostle! It is astonishing, in 
the light of such passages of scripture, that the min- 
isters of the Disciples of Christ should have spent 
so much energy and time trying to persuade people 
to be baptized when it is clearly written that "all 
the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou 
shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." 

There are signs that the Disciples are on the way 
to throw off this last yoke of bondage, this one 
formal observance. When they do so they will have 
cast aside the one encumbrance which hinders them 
from enjoying full liberty in Christ. Their observ- 
ance of the great Feast of Fellowship in the Lord's 
Supper is perfectly free and voluntary. It has never 
been widely nor seriously "entangled" by legalistic 
requirements, and it is the greatest common bond of 
kinship in Christ among individuals of vastly dif- 


ferent theories of religion and interpretations of 
its symbols. This participation in Holy Communion, 
for example in the great communion services of 
the international conventions of the Disciples, illus- 
trates the possibility of a real and vital fellowship 
in loyalty to the spirit and leadership of Christ, 
in spite of well known variations in matters of 
theory and belief. No one who thinks of himself 
in any vital way as a Christian is excluded. And 
the same is true in the observance of the Communion 
in every local church. 

The predominant spirit of the Disciples of Christ 
is practical. It is evangelistic. It is missionary. It 
seeks converts. It endeavors to inspire men with 
the highest ideals and with zeal for spiritual values 
in all relations of life. But it recognizes that none 
of these things can be reduced to uniform and stere- 
otyped patterns to be imposed upon all persons. 
Individuals must therefore be left free to think for 
themselves on all problems, great and small, and 
with freedom to influence others by reasoning and 
suasion but without compulsion or exclusion from 
Christian fellowship. There will always be, and 
should be, individuals who are impelled to tackle 
important problems in philosophy, social relations, 
science, history, art and religion, and they should 
be encouraged. They often contribute to larger 
vision, discoveries, and inspirations. The great 
prophets of religion are like that. Without them the 
religious life withers, grows flat and stale. "Where 
there is no vision, the people perish." 

This ideal of an undogmatic, free, growing, prac- 
tical, unifying, reasonable religious faith, embodied 
in a great religious brotherhood, is something new 
in Christian history. It has not been fully realized 
in a century of endeavor, but it has not been de- 
feated nor silenced. The possibility of its clearer 
comprehension and practice is nearer today than 


ever before. Here is historic and realistic ground 
for new faith and enthusiasm in the Cause dear to 
all enlightened and emancipated Disciples of Christ. 
This Cause is non-sectarian, undenominational, lib- 
eral and timely. In so far as it is understood, pro- 
moted, and more deeply imbued with the spirit of 
Christ, it will add new dimensions and new power 
to the kind of religious faith so much needed to meet 
the present confusion and crisis of our distraught 

Peter Ainslie and Ecumenicity 

W. J. Lhamon, Columbia, Missouri 
I have in hand a treasured sermon of Dr. Peter 
Ainslie. It is dated. Temple, Baltimore; Pentecost 
Sunday, June 8, 1924. Its caption is, "A Highivay 
Through Protestant Christendom." The text sug- 
gests the theme. It is this: "And a highway shall 
there be, and a way; and it shall be called The Way 
of Holiness." Isa. 35:8. 

In this treasured sermon Dr. Ainslie gives ex- 
pression positively and without reserve to his own 
spirit of catholicity, and with it to the cardinal fea- 
tures of our Disciple position. As to the latter he 
says: "The Disciples are committed to the apostolic 
practice relative to the weekly observance of the 
Lord's Supper and baptism by immersion ; and I see 
no reason why we should not stand everlastingly 
loyal to these. Open membership has nothing what- 
ever to do with these practices. Open membership 
need not be any more of a compromise with regard 
to the scriptural form of baptism than open com- 
munion is with regard to the scriptural observance 
of the Lord's Supper." 

In the first paragraph of the sermon he g'ives ex- 
pression to his spirit of catholicity. He says: "As 
I stand in this pulpit Sunday after Sunday I am 


reminded of the companionship of souls that occupy 
these pews — not only our devoted members, but 
usually persons from other Christian communions; 
and likewise I am frequently reminded of the lesson 
in fellowship of the forty-four persons whose names 
are in the ceiling of this auditorium, and the twenty- 
five names frescoed yonder in the border in Mission- 
ary Hall — all placed there irrespective of whether 
they were Hebrews, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Cath- 
olics or Protestants. In this I feel that the Christian 
Temple is bearing a modest witness to the reality of 
the fellowship in religion." 

The names to which reference is made in this 
paragraph, those in the ceiling and those in the 
border of Missionary Hall, cover various fields of 
art, science, literature, history and religion. I select 
a few of them just to indicate Mr. Ainslie's breadth 
of view and choice. There are Michaelangelo, Ra- 
phael, Bach and Watts; St. Francis, Bunyan and 
Spencer ; Savonarola, Luther and Calvin ; Augustine, 
Boniface, Lull and Xavier; Abraham, David and 
Paul ; General Booth, Frances E. Willard and John R. 
Mott. If this looks like a hodgepodge let us remem- 
ber that that is exactly what any cross-section of 
humanity must be, and Mr. Ainslie seemed to love 
just this cross-section as represented by its great 
names in whatever class. He looked through the 
minor matters of races, classes, callings and creeds 
to what he termed "the companionship of souls," 

I quote again from the sermon. "A friend, visit- 
ing me, read carefully these names and then re- 
marked: 'Some of them are Roman Catholics, some 
do not practice the ordinances, some of them were 
put out of the church, and most of them practiced 
affusion in Baptism.' I replied; that did not occur 
to us when they were placed there. We had thought 
of them only as heralds of the Kingdom of God. 
But, my friend asked; 'Would you take them into 


the church?' I replied; They are already in the 
church. Who am I that I should add or take from 
the church of God, be they the living or the dead. 
'But/ persisted my friend ; 'If they were living would 
you take them into the membership of the Christian 
Temple ?' I answered ; I feel that they are now more 
a part of my work than hundreds of persons whose 
names have been on the church roll during my min- 
istry here of thirty odd years. * * * i could not 
think that the Christian Temple would refuse mem- 
bership to David Livingston or General Booth be- 
cause they had not had the same form of baptism 
as I had. I would as soon think that the Christian 
Temple would forbid their entrance into heaven." 

Evidently in this Mr. Ainslie minimizes the value 
of the church roll in favor of the realities of Chris- 
tian service and character. And evidently he places 
a higher value on such baptism as is shown in life- 
long service and character than on any overt act, 
which, in practice, proves to have been merely an 
overt act. 

If I may be pardoned for an aside just here, let me 
say that in a gathering where, some years ago, the 
question of open membership was being debated and 
much was said about the "pious unimmersed" I 
dared to raise the question as to what should be done 
about the "impious immersed" people in our 
churches. There were some audible smiles, some 
shoulder shrugs ; and the debate seemed ended. 

In another section of his sermon Mr. Ainslie deals 
with the assumption of infallibility in doctrine and 
ordinances. He calls attention to the "several hun- 
dred parties" in the Church, and argues that if each 
one of them has its own field of infallibility, to which 
it must of course cling dogmatically, then there 
never can be Christian union. I quote. "If that be 
true the Protestant Episcopal Church must forever 
keep its pulpits closed lest they offend their tradi- 


tions; and likewise the Southern Baptist Church 
must continue to practice close communion lest they 
offend their past. These have just as good argu- 
ments for the closed pulpit and close communion as 
the Disciples have for closed membership. All these 
practices, however, are long out of date, and, there- 
fore, may be abolished." He might have added para- 
doxically, these infallibilities are no longer infallible. 

Mr. Ainslie reckons that there are three barriers 
to Christian union — the closed pulpit (of the Episco- 
palians for instance), close communion and closed 
membership. Again I quote. "Barton W. Stone 
was the prophet of the open pulpit and had to leave 
the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky, where the 
closed pulpit was practiced a hundred years ago. 
Thomas Campbell was the prophet of open com- 
munion, and had to leave the Seceder Presbyterian 
Church, which practiced close communion. These 
two movements formed a partial union and became 
the Disciples of Christ. Therefore, historically and 
morally the Disciples are committed to the removal 
of the third ritualistic barrier, which is closed mem- 
bership, else the prophetic services of Barton W. 
Stone and Thomas Campbell are not only incom- 
plete, but discounted by the present day Disciples." 
This argument should be a clincher to those who 
are traditionally devoted to "the faith of our 

As to our missionary work abroad Mr. Ainslie 
says; "On the foreign field Disciple missionaries 
would find their work less difficult if open member- 
ship were practiced. Work among the heathen is 
hard enough at best, but for churches of Disciples 
in missionary fields to refuse, for example, a Chinese 
Presbyterian who is a recent convert because his 
baptism is not by immersion, is certainly not helpful 
to the unity of Christendom. Why not receive him 
and give him a chance to see for himself the beau- 


tiful and significant symbolism of baptism by im- 
mersion? This appears to be the Christian method 
whereas refusal appears to be sectarian." 

Mr. Ainslie estimated (this was in 1924) that a 
hundred of our churches were practicing open mem- 
bership, and he said that the number was growing. 
And further, he said ; "We are beginning to discover 
that neither names nor ordinances are the signs of 
discipleship. But, 'By this shall all men know that 
ye are my disciples (said Christ) if ye love one 
another.' " Here one finds the nub of the whole 
matter. One discovers that Mr. Ainslie makes Chris- 
tian love central and all else marginal. He puts 
the right attitude of Christian toward Christian 
above names, forms, creeds, dogmas, ordinances, 
sacraments, and whatever else may be crowded into 
the list of things traditional, possibly helpful, pos- 
sibly expedient, but certainly not mandatory in the 
reported teachings of the Master himself. 

Into the critical matter of immersion as presented 
in the teachings of Jesus Mr. Ainslie does not go in 
this sermon. He simply assumes that it is not man- 
datory. He refers to it as "beautiful and significant." 
If the reader cares for a critical presentation of the 
teachings of Jesus on the subject of baptism I may 
refer him to the issue of The Scroll bearing the 
date, February 1938, which has an article on the 
subject over my name. 

The sermon indicated above is but one among 
many of the writings of Dr. Peter Ainslie which 
prove him to have been a brave, consistent and out- 
spoken pioneer in the work of liberating the Dis- 
ciples from an overdone and mistaken Biblicism and 
sacramentalism in the presentation of their plea 
for Christian union. 


Letter from W. F. Bruce 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Box 413X, Route 5. 

I have read and re-read your article on "A Sense 
of Direction" in The Scroll, and the open letter 
inviting individual reactions to it. I agree that we 
need always a sense of direction as to the way we 
are going and as clear a vision as is possible to hu- 
man short-sightedness of the goal we are approach- 
ing. For forty years my lot has been cast largely 
with what we usually call the Restoration Move- 
ment. But I have never felt much concern about 
"Disciple tradition," or my conformity to the "teach- 
ing of the fathers," or how much I have taken up 
of the Lockean or any other philosophy. Rather has 
my concern been that of taking the Bible as the 
source book of my teaching and as the criterion for 
my judgment on matters of belief and conduct, 
whether personal or collective. I have taken this 
Book, with unique significance, as the Word of God, 
at the same time leaving myself open to any other 
light God may have for me. 

It is my interpretation of the Bible then that has 
to be guide, and the more I hold myself susceptible 
to the research of man and the guidance of the Spirit 
the safer will be my interpretation. But the very 
fact that I take the Bible as a standard forbids my 
making my interpretation of it a standard for any 
one else. My interpretation is a rather limited scope 
of truth and is sure to include some mixture of error. 
I cannot confine the Bible to that very limited field 
of influence without taking away its divine signifi- 
cance, and making it in effect a human document. 
I cannot insist on my interpretation as a test of 
fellowship without to that extent making the Bible 
a closed book just as do the priests who claim that 
they only are capable of interpreting the Scripture, 
and just as has every adopted creed of Christian 
history. As far as my interpretation has influence 


over the thinking of this or that individual I have 
shut him out from the enlightening and liberating 
effect of the Scriptures on men. My responsibility 
as a teacher of the Word is as a v^^itness who opens 
up the Bible for investigation by men seeking the 
way of life, and not as a judge who determines how 
far any seeker has found that way. 

So neither I nor any group of Christians collec- 
tively can either accept or reject members of the 
body of Christ. Even if I believe the New Testa- 
ment teaches immersion I cannot declare an unim- 
m.ersed professing Christian not a member. And 
certainly I cannot declare him a member. I must 
declare the truth as I see it on baptism and every 
other question while the individual himself in the 
light of his investigation of the Word to which my 
teaching should be directing him must determine his 
own action. This means, of course, that member- 
ship in the church, local or at large, must be left 
to individual decision and the determination of those 
who are members must be left to a more competent 
Judge, the Head of the church. He knows them 
that are His; God gives the increase. The Lord 
adds day by day those that are being saved. As you 
say, "The plea for unity must encompass persons 
and organizations still burdened by unnecessary 
elements of old habits and wornout customs." Some 
tares may be growing with the wheat, tares in doc- 
trine and tares in conduct, but we can leave the 
separation till the time of the harvest. In our 
blindness we would cultivate some noxious weeds 
and root up some good grain. But sincere Christians 
coming together into the same circle of fellowship 
will have a much better chance of coming to an 
understanding. Many apparent differences will dis- 
appear; others will be modified through mutual dis- 
cussion ; others will be held individually without be- 
coming tests of fellowship. 


One reason "the Disciples of Christ have hesitat- 
ingly cooperated in these movements" is their dis- 
inclination to compromise conviction. Another is 
that most of these movements halt on the way toward 
unity by making provision for denominationalism, 
thus hanging on to the very hindrance that delays 
unity. Individuals still retain their denominational 
affiliation, or at least their denominational concepts. 
But the time has surely come to lay aside denomina- 
tionalism altogether and to come together as Chris- 
tians, each with his personal convictions and at the 
same time forbearance toward the convictions of 
others. The denominational church in a community 
makes the church a closed shop that requires every 
Christian to "join the union" before he can have 
complete access to the workshop. The "federated" 
or "union" community church opens the shop to 
various rival unions of Christian workmen. What 
we need is a church that puts the individual Chris- 
tian on his merits of talent and consecration. Then 
the visible or organizational church in the commun- 
ity will be one and the same as the church invisible, 
as we are wont to vaguely describe it. 

I believe the critical condition of the world and 
the crucial test to which it is putting the church 
at this time demand an immediate movement toward 
permanent and untrammeled unity of Christians. 
The great Ecumenical Conferences made a good be- 
ginning, but at the top. We need to institute the 
same sort of procedure at the bottom, that is in 
local communities where unity can really function. 
The first step would no doubt be the calling together 
of all Christians in frank discussions of agreements 
and disagreements. These called conferences need 
then to be given some kind of continuance status 
which will lead finally into local units of cooperating 
Christians, in other words local churches of Christ 
if I understand the description given in the New 


Testament. The beginning of such a movement 
would probably be in rural or missionary or other 
centers where the problem of united effort is most 
acute. But logically it would continue until every 
community, rural or urban, industrial or residential, 
congested or scattered, would have its unit. The 
open door to every Christian earnestly desiring to 
enter ; the open mind of every Christian approaching 
the unity of effort; the open Bible courteously but 
candidly taught in pulpit and classroom as the best 
preventive of crooked thinking and acting; the 
Church of Christ! 

The New Old Fail 

Sterling W. Brown, Drake University 
Up until the last quarter of the nineteenth century 
most individuals of the western world held with a 
fair degree of confidence belief in the fundamental 
tenets of traditional Christianity. These beliefs 
included an all-powerful God, perfect in wisdom and 
righteousness; Jesus as the Son of God, born of a 
Virgin, the Bible as an infallible record of Jesus' 
teachings and containing the divine plan of salvation 
for all mankind; the soul of man as a spiritual en- 
tity surviving death; and man as a creature of 
special creation whose future, whether spent in 
Heaven or Hell, rested upon his acceptance or rejec- 
tion of Jesus in accordance with the steps as divinely 
revealed in the Bible. 

But a reconstruction in religious thinking has 
taken place almost under our very eyes. This shift 
in the fundamental ideology of western Christianity 
has come about so rapidly and yet so completely that 
it amounts to no less than an intellectual revolution. 
This has brought about for large numbers of edu- 
cated people a new orientation in religion. The stu- 
pendous intellectual and ethical readjustments which 
have been made under the impact of modern science 


have revolutionized the religious outlook of the edu- 
cated folk of our contemporary world. And the end 
is not yet, for when some semblance of a peaceful 
world comes again it will consummate even more 
radical changes than those wrought by the first 
Great War. 

The educated man of the western world has at last 
come to a matter-of-fact acceptance of the view of 
the physical and social world which 'has been made 
mandatory by the scientific advances of the last cen- 
tury and a half. The educated man conceives his 
mind as a natural phenomenon rather than a m.eta- 
physical and speculative entity. He sees at least the 
possibility of human betterment even though it may 
call for a radical restatement of ethical values. These 
and other changes have created a new man in a new 
world and he is struggling to develop a new faith. 
But he has not lived in this new world long enough 
to be at home in it; he has not been able to give up 
his national and provincial thinking to the extent 
necessary to avoid a collapse of the present world 
order. Hence we have the contemporary world 

The educated man of the twentieth century is 
becoming committed to what the physical, biological, 
and social sciences tell him about the world in which 
he lives. He knows that he has evolved from a uni- 
cellular organism to the complex animal we call man, 
this growth having been a process of struggle 
through millions of years. From studies of human 
culture the modern man knows that religious atti- 
tudes and ethical values are varied in time and place 
as a result of environmental circumstances. Even 
the Christian religious movement is recognized as 
having a history as a social process which has de- 
veloped from relatively simple and primitive forms 
to later and more complex patterns. Its Bible is 
conceived to be a record of the religious experiences 
of a part of the race. God is no longer conceived 


as a manipulating providence, but as that aspect of 
idealized reality in which we live and move and 
have our being. Human experience is a questing, 
struggling, and creative process of change in time 
and space, being radically affected by such factors 
as desire, purpose, and determination. 

This world as revealed by modern science is a 
very different world from that in which the tradi- 
tional formulas of contemporary Christianity found 
their intellectual setting. But this new religious 
orientation toward which we are moving is a logical 
extension of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It holds 
in large measure to the deeper spiritual insights and 
fundamental ethical values of the religious tradition 
of the western world. 

No religious group in America has been so much 
a part of this new old faith as the Disciples of 
Christ. Evolving from the liberal traditions of the 
Renaissance and maturing in the environmental set- 
ting of frontier America, the Disciples have ex- 
hibited an optimistic faith in the progress of modern 
science. They have conceived the leaven of modern 
cultural progress to be the Christian religion in its 
pristine form, conceiving the New Testament Church 
as a voluntary organization bound by a practical 
faith in Jesus Christ. 

Motivated by irenic ideals the Disciples set out 
over a century ago to make religion so simple and 
effective in life that all Christians would turn and 
join them. When Thomas Campbell composed the 
"Declaration and Address" he was motivated by a 
desire to make the Christian religion more effective 
by a return to its original simplicity. Alexander 
Campbell's "Sermon on the Law" was a logical de- 
velopment from this same thesis. The Disciples 
have never been able to repress this desire. It 
haunts their intellectual life. Even in the "Dark 
Ages" following the Civil War they were saved from 
becoming a dissident sect by the reasonableness of 


their faith — "Prove all things and hold fast to that 
which is good." 

In the years following the dawn of the twentieth 
century the most energetic activities of the Disciples 
have been in evangelism for membership and cam- 
paigns for consolidation of organized activities. This 
tendency was intensified by the interest of the whole 
Christian world in the application of religious ideals 
to the social problems of the day. This led the 
Disciples into a new danger — the temptation to be- 
come so absorbed in the means of accomplishing 
their objective that the objective was obscured. This 
tendency weakened their sense of mission. Great 
ideals and great ideas were relegated to the glorious 
past and committees, conventions, and promotional 
statistics became the great vogue. 

However, the shock of a static or declining mem- 
ership and the realities of a world economic depres- 
sion threw the movement back upon its original mo- 
tivation. This was further intensified by the grow- 
ing impact of science which helped to lay bare the 
history of the movement itself. A growing tendency 
for the Disciples to move out on the stage of wider 
Christian activities finally brought them to an 
abrupt realization that they had nothing unique to 
offer the world — except their latent ideology of a 
simple, non-theological faith. 

As the flash of lightning always precedes the roll 
of thunder, so the flame of thought always comes be- 
fore a reformation within a religious movement. In 
opposition to an intelligent reassertion of the original 
spirit and attitude of the Disciples there arose, to 
be sure, a wave of conservatism which has led to 
much controversy and perplexity. 

But during the past decade the Disciples have had 
working in the brotherhood life the ferment of their 
"raison d' etre." The desire to return to a more 
simple and reasonable practice of the religious life 
has become explicit as the intellectual heritage of the 


Disciples. This is indicated by a score of facts, 
among them the creation of a commission to restudy 
the history of the movement, floods of articles on the 
spiritual heritage of the brotherhood, and the found- 
ing of a historical society for the preservation of 
Disciple lore. These and other facts give evidence 
of the impact of modern culture upon this religious 
group. And the realization is growing that the basic 
ideology of the movement is in harmony with the 
spirit and attitude of modern science. This is bring- 
ing a reawakening of the "elan vital" of the 

This new old faith of the brotherhood places the 
movement "on the beam" of the contemporary revo- 
lution in Christian thinking. It should enable the 
Disciples to take the new world "in full stride." 
As a matter of fact, many of the impedimenta which 
other religious groups are having to discard in the 
face of contemporary developments in the social and 
physical sciences, have never been a part of Disciple 
ideology. So the original faith of the Disciples 
should not perish; it should be refined of its dross, 
purged of its inconsistencies and transformed into 
a larger faith to meet the needs of modern man. 
For man has grown immeasurably in knowledge and 
experience since the last quarter of the nineteenth 
century. His religion must also grow. If his faith 
becomes static rather than developmental it will 
perish; not so much because it is refuted by logic, 
but because it is refuted by experience. 

If this new old faith of the Disciples continues 
to develop it will lift them out of a maze of uncer- 
tainty, restore their sense of mission, and place them 
in line with the finest religious developments of the 
modern world. The "faith of our fathers" will once 
again become our adventuresome faith — as adven- 
turesome as modern life demands and reason allows. 
With such a faith the Disciples will find themselves 


more excited about a campaign of ideas that a cam- 
paign of finances, and they will be well equipped for 
aggressive expansion in the post-war world. 

Alexander Campbell — Liberal 

Christian Century, 1938 

Alexander Campbell is having his one hundred 
and fiftieth birthday on the day of this writing, 
September 12. Disciples of Christ, who remember 
Campbell with gratitude and admiration as the 
leader of the movement that made and preserved 
them a people, are mindful of this sesquicentennial, 
but even their interest in it is mild in comparison 
with the enthusiasm of Methodists for the celebra- 
tion of the bicentennial of Wesley's Aldersgate ex- 
perience. And while Protestants generally were 
glad of occasion to express their common sense of 
obligation to Wesley, there has been and will be no 
such universal recognition of the Campbell anni- 

It is natural that Campbell should not have been 
canonized by his followers. They have never thought 
of themselves as his followers. In spite of a rather 
autocratic temperament — or was it only a state of 
mind induced by long journalistic experience in a 
religious body whose only bishops were its editors ? — 
Campbell was thoroughly in earnest when he ex- 
horted his co-workers to call no man master — not 
even him. They took him at his word, repudiated 
the term "Campbellite" as bitterly as he did, and did 
not hesitate to assail his opinions in letters and 
articles which he did not hesitate to publish in his 

And it is no less natural that there should have 
been little recognition of his significance for the 
religious world. His proposal was too radical to 
admit of any warm appreciation by those who did 


not accept it. For Campbell proposed nothing less 
than that the existing denominations should sur- 
render the distinguishing characteristics that sepa- 
rated them and go out of business. These denomina- 
tional differentia were, he maintained, the product 
of human speculation and of unwarranted adjust- 
ment to historical situations. He denied no man's 
right to hold them as personal opinions, even though 
they might be contrary to his opinion, but he denied 
the right of any group of men to organize around 
them and call their organization a church; for, as 
his father, Thomas Campbell, had said, the church 
is "essentially, intentionally and constitutionally 
one," and its basis of unity is broad, simple and di- 
vinely certain. If seekers for salvation are asked 
to believe and do only what the apostles asked men 
to believe and do in order to be saved, the Lord will 
add to the church those who are saved by believing 
and doing just that, and there will be but one church. 

It was scarcely possible for those who did not 
accept this revolutionary proposal to feel much grati- 
tude to the man who made it. To them, he seemed 
merely the leader of a new party — one who, under 
the specious pretense of subordinating opinion to 
faith, exalted his own opinion into a rule of faith, 
and one who promoted the interests of his own party 
by proclaiming the end of all parties. For of course, 
regardless of the merits or demerits of his pro- 
gram, the company of those who accepted it did take 
on all the characteristics of a religious party. In 
the light of more than a century of experience, and 
at a time when sectarian fires are burning low, the 
value of his contribution and the strength of his 
personality can be more discerned. 

Alexander Campbell was a great religious liberal. 
He was not the less so for believing in the reality of 
revelation and the authority of the Bible. The 
liberal mind is not committed in advance to the 


denial of these things. Liberalism is a method, not 
a body of conclusions; and Campbell's method was 
the method of liberalism. It involved, first, the 
absolute freedom of the individual to seek the truth 
where it might be found, in complete independence 
of honored traditions and institutional sanctions; 
second, a common sense, empirical procedure based 
upon the data of observation received through the 
senses; third, an approach to the Bible as to any- 
other book, considering when, by whom, to whom 
and for what purpose its constituent parts had been 
written, taking it as the kind of book such examina- 
tion proves it to be, and interpreting it according to 
the plain sense of the words in their original setting ; 
fourth, a strong emphasis upon education as a debt 
that the church owes to the individual, to the state 
and to itself. 

It was by a liberal gesture that he swept aside 
the total body of orthodox theology, the Protestant 
scholasticism of his day, as irrelevant, incompetent 
and immaterial. He regarded it as cobwebs that 
men had spun from their own brains, much as Locke 
regarded the "m.etaphysical rubbish" which he dis- 
carded. It was ingenious, and much of it might be 
true, but it had no bearing on the essential questions 
of religion — how are men to be saved and how is the 
church to be made the effective instrument Christ 
meant it to be for the salvation of the world. To 
demote the most respectable dogmas of the churches 
from the category of articles of faith to that of 
opinion, was to affirm the liberty of the individual 
to reach his own opinions about them and to hold 
those opinions without prejudice to his Christian 
character or standing. 

Campbell's complete acceptance of the empirical 
method of John Locke, including both its virtues and 
its now generally recognized defects and inade- 
quacies, allied him with the main current of modern 
liberal thought. He called Locke "the great Chris- 


tian philosopher." Back of Locke stood Francis 
Bacon. It is of no small significance that the first 
college established by Campbell's followers, and that 
only six years after they had begun to become a 
distinct body, was named Bacon College, in honor 
of Sir Francis. More than any other one individual, 
Bacon was perhaps the typical man of the Renais- 
sance in England. A strong argument could be made 
for the thesis that the Disciples movement stemmed 
much more directly from the Renaissance than from 
the Protestant Reformation. Campbell's Methodist 
and Baptist contemporaries would doubtless have 
agreed to this, for they considered his rejection of 
their emotional methods of conversion and his in- 
tellectualistic definition of faith as "belief of testi- 
mony," rather than an effect wrought upon the peni- 
tent sinner by the direct action of the Holy Spirit, 
to be a coldly rationalistic perversion of religion. 

The "rules of interpretation" which Campbell laid 
down as a guide to the use of the Bible have a 
strangely modern sound. It was not enough to quote 
texts, as though every word in every part of the 
book came directly from the mouth of God to all men 
of all times. Revelation had been progressive. God 
had dealt with men in different ways in successive 
"dispensations." Every text must therefore be 
viewed in relation to its historical setting. If it 
had the form of a command, one must inquire to 
whom, the command was given. If it described an 
ordinance, one must ask to what order of things that 
ordinance belonged. One could not cite the records 
of the "starlight" or "moonlight" ages of men's 
groping after God as evidence of the divine will for 
men in the "sunlight" dispensation of Christ. No 
one in America as yet knew anything about "higher 
criticism," but here was something that pointed in 
that direction. 

Campbell expounded his educational theories in 
a series of articles written and published when he 


was contemplating the establishment of Bethany 
College, in 1840. Without going into details, it may 
be said that they would not be unacceptable as the 
prospectus for an institution to be established in 
1940. His own training had been largely classical. (So 
much of the Renaissance influence he shared with 
most of the educated men of his time.) But he laid 
heavy emphasis upon the necessity of a thorough 
discipline in the sciences, especially by laboratory 
methods. He was of the opinion that the adjustment 
of the young to the economic and industrial world 
in which they were to live was, at least in part, a 
responsibility of the college, and that mechanical 
and agricultural training should have a place in the 
curriculum. Above all, he was insistent that re- 
ligion was so intimately bound up with life and char- 
acter that the Christian college must be a place 
where the Christian religion is both taught in the 
classroom and exemplified on the campus. 

To what extent the Disciples denomination which 
took its origin from the work of Campbell and his 
associates has continued to apply his liberal prin- 
ciples, is not here under consideration. In general, 
the behavior pattern of groups exhibits a firmer ad- 
herence to the specific positions occupied by their 
founders than to the revolutionary methods by which 
the founders arrived at those positions. On this 
sesquicentennial day attention is centered upon the 
leader, not on the followers. He was a man worth 
remembering. The religious world can see his true 
proportions more clearly now than it could when he 
seemed the enemy of all established things, to be 
recognized by the total body of evangelical Chris- 
tians, if at all, only because he had so valiantly de- 
fended religion against the secularist, Robert Owen, 
and Protestantism against the Roman Catholic, 
Archbishop Purcell. Now it can be seen that Alex- 
ander Campbell was a great religious liberal. 


"The Man Who Would Not Lie" 

Warner MuiR, Seattle, Washington 

Over a century ago the people of Boston were 
listening to the sermons of William Ellery Channing 
on "Truth." "When a man regards truth as more 
precious than his daily bread he becomes one of 
the elect of his race," said the pulpit orator of 1840. 

In the ninth century before the Christian era there 
lived in the land of Israel a man who regarded 
truth "as more precious than his daily bread." His 
name was Micaiah. Neither the force of custom 
nor the threat of violence to his person could make 
him depart from what to him was the living truth. 
He was free from what John Stuart Mill once called 
"The received opinion of popular approval." As 
he saw it a man should die rather than lie. 

Good men shine with greater brilliance when they 
are put in contrast to their evil contemporaries. 
Today in Norway Bishop Bergraev is more heroic 
because he stands in contrast to the traitor Quisling. 
In the case of Micaiah, the prophet's qualities of 
greatness were enhanced by the villainy of a king. 
Ahab, King of Israel, was the worst of a family of 
cruel and callous tyrants. Something about Ahab 
reminds us of that barbarian, Peter the Great of 
Russia, who shocked the eighteenth century world 
by the ingenious tortures he devised to frighten men 
into subjection to him. The terror which Ahab 
spread over Israel produced a sorry sign of human 
weakness. At Ahab's court one saw the spectacle of 
men who claimed to be prophets seeking only the 
whim of the king, hanging upon his words, trying 
to please him by telling him what he most wanted 
to hear, stifling their sense of right for the sake 
of safety. 

The contest between truth and falsehood reached 
its zenith at a time when Ahab had determined to 
embark upon a war of aggression against Syria. 


Master of the art of threat and bluster, Ahab had 
compelled Jehosophat, King of Judah, to become his 
vassal. Ahab was the Hitler and Jehosophat the 
Mussolini of that alliance. At the time of our story 
Hitler-Ahab had called Mussolini-Jehosophat to the 
capitol of Israel for a "conference." To hearten 
Jehosophat for the unpopular war, Ahab called in 
his court prophets. These gentry, when asked 
whether God would give his blessing to the war 
against Syria, all said glibly, "Go up to battle and 
God will prosper you. God has revealed to us that 
this is a divinely authorized adventure. It is the 
destiny of the people of Syria to be ruled by Israel 
and Judah." But there was one man who still hon- 
ored the profession of prophet. Micaiah's voice was 
lifted against the universal affirmation of Ahab's 
henchmen. "If you go up to battle," he said to 
Ahab, "I see Israel without a leader, a people with- 
out a shepherd. God will punish you and your un- 
warranted attack upon the innocent city." 

How magnificent are the men who are not afraid 
to tell the truth! Their theory of truth deserves 
to be described. To Micaiah truth was the fruit of 
an inward vision of the eternal. "As the Lord liv- 
eth, what the Lord saith to me that will I speak," 
he said. When George Fox was remanded to prison 
for teaching a doctrine contrary to the articles of 
faith of the Church of England he was visited by 
the public prosecutor. "How do you know you have 
the truth?" the prosecutor asked. Fox replied, put- 
ting his hand to his breast : "I have it here, I have 
tested it. Truth is the light of the Infinite mind 
and the image of God in his creatures. The truth I 
profess reveals God to me, therefore I know it is real 
truth." That was the resource Micaiah of old dis- 
covered. For him truth was divine, arrived at by 
vision of the spirit. 

Truth-sayers are in for a difficult time at the 
hands of their enemies. In the presence of the 


Court, after the Prophet had spoken his truth, the 
leader of the false prophets led in the prosecution. 
"Then came Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, and 
drawing near to him, he smote him on the cheek and 
said, "Which way went the spirit of the Lord to 
speak unto thee?" It has always been like that with 
men who have new vision. Samuel Langley was 
publicly called insane by New York newspapers for 
his assertion that men could fly heavier-than-air ma- 
chines. After the first World War Lord Robert Cecil 
traveled over the world pleading for the creation of a 
Federation of Nations. In America Lord Cecil was 
heard by polite audiences who mocked him for his 
dream. He who bears the truth ahead of his com- 
rades must expect to be stoned. 

Truth is its own calm witness; lying resorts to 
device for its support. In Ahab's court Zedekiah, 
leader of the false prophets, put on an act. He 
made horns of iron bars and fastened them on his 
head and went about pushing and prancing among 
the courtiers and saying, "Thus saith the Lord, 
'With these shalt thou push the Syrians.' " False- 
hood always exaggerates and dramatizes its argu- 
ment. A man who tries to make his wife believe 
in his fidelity when he has been unfaithful will con- 
coct an elaborate story to prove his whereabouts or 
the righteousness of his actions while he is absent 
from her. The politician who seeks to cover his trail 
into the underworld will try to turn public attention 
from his behavior by holy protestations of devotion 
to the public good. 

Despite the violence done to the truth on the part 
of those who seek to change it, truth persists. On 
the Oregon coast there is a bit of rock which pro- 
tects a little bay and allows it to have calm water 
while the open sea outside is often wild and angry. 
Against this natural breakwater the Pacific Ocean 
has hurled its storms for centuries but still that line 
of rock remains unbroken and secure — a sentinel of 


sublime endurance. So is truth! "I exult in the 
eternal strength of the truth," writes Leslie Weath- 
erhead. In this asseveration he is echoed by the 
words of the Psalmist: "The Lord is good . . . his 
truth endureth unto all generations." 

The truth does affect men. That was the case 
with Ahab. He despised Micaiah, hated all for 
which he stood, heartily wished him dead, but he 
was haunted by the fear that the prophet was right. 
So patent was Ahab's secret fear of the truth that 
when the battle was joined between Israel and Syria 
he disguised himself and wore the uniform of a com- 
mon soldier. 

The truth lives in our very fears that it is the 
truth. When Joan of Arc interviewed King Charles 
of France she referred to a voice she had heard. 
Whereupon the king was irritated and replied, "Oh, 
your voices! Why don't the voices come to me? I 
am king, not you. I don't believe in your voices." 
To this the Maid of Orleans replied, "You want to 
deny that the voices speak to me, but you cannot 
afford to let them alone, for you are afraid they 
might be real." That is the way it is with us about 
truth. Sometimes we wish it were not so. We try 
to continue in our unbelief but we cannot afford 
to let the truth alone for we are afraid it might be 

Men do not escape the truth. If they live by it 
and exalt it, the truth exalts them. If they spurn 
it, the truth crushes them. "Wlriatever happens the 
truth is vindicated. Behold now the conclusion of 
the drama of the prophet and the king. Ahab, al- 
though disguised, did not escape the word of the 
prophet. As the sun moved down the slope of the 
sky that afternoon on the ancient plain of Syria, an 
archer of the Syrian band fixed an arrow to his 
bow and pulled the string. The arrow's flight was 
quickly followed by a cry. Shot by chance, the 
missile of death smote the King of Israel and the 


wound was fatal. With the death of the king the 
cry spread through the camp of Israel and that night 
under cover of darkness the invaders retreated. As 
Jehosophat, the minion, accompanied his master's 
body back toward Samaria he must have remem- 
bered the man who told the truth. Perhaps the 
King of Judah sought out the prophet in his prison 
and asked for his release. Perhaps these words 
came to the King of Judah then, "A lying tongue is 
but for a moment but the lip of truth. shall be estab- 
lished forever." 

Books Of Substance 

W. Barnett Blakemore, Jr. 

The new word in our popular vocabularies is 
"global." This word is doing much to widen our 
horizons from the provinces in which we live to 
every part of our fair sphere. But the average man 
is abysmally ignorant of the earth's physiognomy. 
No man can claim to be cultured without having 
made some attempt to understand what the surface 
of the earth is like. There is no quicker or less 
expensive way to get that understanding than 
through good maps. A really good atlas is definitely 
a book of substance and every minister should own 

The best atlas for the average library is undoubt- 
edly Goode's School Atlas, compiled by J. Paul 
Goode, published in 1939 by Rand McNally and 
Company, New York, and priced at $4.40. This 
atlas contains 174 pages of maps and 110 pages of 
pronouncing index, which is important in these days 
of Velikie Luki and Gabes. The maps are primarily 
physical, rather than political, which is also impor- 
tant in days when political boundaries are changing 
but the mountains and rivers endure. A very useful 
section of the atlas demonstrates graphically the 
problem of map-making, that is, of projecting onto 


a plane surface the shapes that are really on a 
sphere. There is also included a helpful study of 
scales, maps covering population densities, oceans 
and tidal lines, climate in all its phases, communica- 
tions, the distribution of natural resources and in- 
dustries based on them, agriculture, animal hus- 
bandry, and so on, as well as larger scale maps of 
the lands of the earth. This atlas is widely used in 
university classes, and if you have any curiosity 
about the world you'll be using it constantly. It is 
detailed enough to tell you all that you will usually 
want to know about any country. But since it is 
world-wide in its scope, it does not have large maps 
of our individual Ameican states. If it is local 
geography that you want, there are many good issues 
of road maps to be had at little cost. 

Another good source of maps is the National Geo- 
graphic Society. Its maps are issued as supple- 
ments to the National Geographic Magazine. The 
maps are worth the subscription price. They come 
folded and can be accumulated in a letter file. In a 
year or two they will comprise a respectable atlas. 
Every student of religion, and we hope that means 
every minister, should own copies of at least two 
of their maps: Classical Lands, and Bible Lands. 
These are large scale maps of the central and eastern 
Mediterranean areas with modern geography 
printed in black, and the geography of antiquity, in 
very great detail, printed in red. 

Of course, if you really want to know what the 
earth is like, you have to go to a good globe. I sup- 
pose there is no one of us that hasn't wished for 
a very good globe, with physical geography ade- 
quately marked. But good ones cost a great deal of 
money, and cheap ones are of little value. I expect 
that most of us will have to continue dreaming as far 
as globes are concerned, but Goode's School Atlas is 
the very best second best. 


From An Old Friend 

I rarely ever see the Standard. I used to get mad 
every time I read it so I had to give up the Standard 
or give up trying to go to heaven. This was more 
than twenty years ago. If you have learned to 
read the Standard and not get mad you are to be 
congratulated on your self control. 

The last thing that Campbell hoped to be was a 
hitching post, but that is what some of our people 
have made of him. He wanted to be a starting 
point not a hitching post. He wanted to be a sign 
post pointing the way, not the gate to a camping 

Should we boldly follow scholarship? Yes, by all 
means. It is my understanding that Campbell was 
one of the first to tell us that in the study of any 
sacred writing, the questions, "To whom, for whom, 
and when, where, for what purpose, were prerequi- 
site questions." These are the questions that have 
made the Bible a new book. 

I was impressed by the number and the quality 
of the men listed as members of the Campbell Insti- 
tute. I feel quite honored to be a member of that 
group, for I was the exception (scholastically) when 
I was accepted as a member. I looked long and 
reverently at the list of our departed. I knew quite 
a number of them and some intimately. It would 
be difficult to name a finer group of men. I did not 
know Peter Ainslie personally but I always think 
of hini as the saint among our preachers. Our plea 
for union would have been far more acceptable by 
other religious bodies had we more ministers like 


Addresses Omitted Last Month 

Badders, D. R., 927 W. Walnut, Portland, Indiana. 

Blackman, Earl A., 6524 Linden Rd., Kansas City, 

Blakemore, W. B., 2032 Olive St., St. Louis, Missouri. 

Blakemore, W. B., Jr., 5450 Cornell Ave., Chicago. 

Carter, LeRoy F., 801 E. Taylor, Harlingen, Texas. 

Clark, Glen G., Box 262, Iowa Park, Texas. 

Clark, Tom B., Redondo Hotel, Redondo Beach, Cali- 

Cleveland, Joseph C, 4601 Main St., Kansas City, 

Cohee, 0. J., in service. 

Combs, George Hamilton, Blue Springs, Missouri. 

Darsie, Charles, Burton, Ohio. 

Elsam, Harold G., in service. 

England, S. J., 2202 E. Maple, Enid, Oklahoma. 

Fein, Donald W., 106 W. Fisher Ave., Greensboro, 
North Carolina. 

Goodale, Ralph H., Hiram, Ohio. 

Holroyd, Ben, Van Buren and Prospect, Ravenna, 

Hunter, Joseph B., 222 Downey Ave., Indianapolis, 

Kinser, Beryl S., 315 S. 3rd St., Clarksville, Ten- 

Leftwich, L. L., 5728 Blackstone, Chicago. 

Lowder, Virgil, 4344 Grand, Western Springs, 

McCaw, C. C, Austin, Minnesota. 

McConnell, Howard, 927 24th St., Santa Monica, 

Norment, M. L., Box 2086, University Station, Enid, 

Phillips, Charles W., U.S.N.R., Chaplain Trg. Schl., 
N.O.B., Norfolk Virginia. 

Pittman, Riley H., T.C.U., Fort Worth, Texas. 


Ridenour, C. M., 3833 40th St., S. W., Seattle, Wash- 

Ross, W. Gordon, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. 

Ryan, W. A., 412 E. 80th St., Greenville, North 

Smith, Enoch C, 310 E. Elm St., Olney, Illinois. 

Smythe, Lewis S. C, U. of Nanking, Chengtu Sze, 

Turner, Maurice E., 112 Poplar St., Corbin, Ken- 

Tuttle, Wallace, 6015 McGee St., Kansas City, Mis- 

Van Boskirk, J. J., Central Christian Church, Flor- 
ence, Alabama. 

Wood, Vaden T., 200 W. Market Street, Canton, 

Woodburn, Wm., 411 Eddings St., Fulton, Missouri. 


Becker, Edwin L,, Box 5, Peru, Nebraska. 

Goldner, Gerould R., Central Chstn., Ch. Warren, 

Jones, Nathaniel A. 82-05 Grenfell Ave., Kew Gar- 
dens, Long Island, New York. 

Miller, Chas. C, 302 S. Main, Osceola, Iowa. 

O'Flaherty, Wilmer L., Mutual Bldg., Richmond, 

Smith, Gerald V., 637 E. Pelham Rd., Atlanta, 

Stanius, Godfrey, 10127 Vernon Ave., Chicago. 

Watson, J. T., Newcastle, Va. 

Frank, Graham, 3711 University Blvd., Dallas, 

McCaw, John E., Sou. 111. Normal Univ., Carbondale, 

Ross, Emory, Foreign Missions Conf., of N. A., 156 

5th Ave., New York, N. Y. 



Perry E. Gresham, President of the Campbell In- 
stitute, is moving from the University Church in 
Fort Worth to the University Christian Church in 
Seattle. He has been with the Texas Church ten 
years, erected a fine building, and greatly increased 
the membership. He puts ideas and sincere feeling 
into his sermons and he is a good manager and 

John W. Harms, who for nearly five years has 
served as Secretary of the Council of Churches and 
Christian Education of Maryland-Delaware, has en- 
tered upon his new duties as Executive Secretary of 
the Chicago Church Federation. He is no stranger 
to Chicago, having been a student in the University 
and a resident of the Disciples Divinity House. 

Eldred Johnston of Marion, Ohio, gives us this 
story of himself: When I was a boy, my parents 
gave me the pagan, carefree nickname of "Buz." It 
has stuck tightly these 35 years. I liked it until I was 
ordained; then it seemed out of place. Who ever 
heard of the Rev. Buz Fosdick or the Rev. Buz Cad- 
man? I seemed destined to oblivion. But the other 
day, as I was reading the American Translation, lo 
and behold, I found this in Gen. 22:20, "Milcah, too, 
has borne children to your brother, Nahor: Uz 
the first born. Buz his brother ..." I see now why 
my parents didn't name me David, Paul or Mark. 
They wanted to make certain that no one would as- 
sociate me with those modernistic fellows. 

F. E. Davison was ordained and married 33 years 
ago. He gives as one reason for the celebration at 
Brownsburg, Indiana, his home church, the fact that 
the date marked a third of a century. We hope he will 
live to celebrate the second third of the century ! 


Vol. XL. FEBRUARY, 1943 No. 6 

Garnett's New Book 

E. S. Ames 

Professor A. Campbell Garnett has written a 
great book, A Realistic Philosophy of Religion. It is 
published by Willett, Clark & Company, and is a 
religious book club selection. There are 326 pages 
of it and the price is $3.00. 

Professor Garnett is a Disciple and a member of 
the Campbell Institute. He was born in Australia 
nearly fifty years ago, was educated at the Uni- 
versity of Melbourne, and at the University of Lon- 
don. He taught in Butler University five years, in 
the College of the Bible at Lexington, Ky., one year 
and has now been in the department of philosophy 
at the University of Wisconsin five years. He is an 
active member and elder in the Madison, Wisconsin, 
Disciples Church. This is the most scholarly, ma- 
ture, and vital book in its field, written by a Disciple, 
and it is readable. We hope every member of the 
Institute will read it and that some sessions of the 
annual meeting of the Institute next summer will 
be devoted to discussions of it. 

The method of the author is that of empiricism. 
He treats of the beginning of religion in the indi- 
vidual and finds it most typically in the experience 
of the adolescent where altruistic attitudes over- 
come the egoistic impulses. "For empiricism, it 
(religion) is first a pursuit of values and secondarily 
a system of beliefs." A person may lose many of 
his traditional beliefs and still have "just as fine 
and satisfying a religion with a mere fraction of his 
original and traditional system, or with none of it." 


Religion shows its independence of any specific be- 
liefs by the enormous variety of beliefs and by the 
fact that it may live without any of them. Review- 
ing the rise of religion in the race, Garnett says: 
"The record of what men have believed to be rev- 
elations from God is a strange mixture of sordid 
deception, fantastic nonsense, tragic error, well 
intentioned fraud, pleasant illusion, wholesome 
legend, enslaving tradition, stimulating faith, lofty 
idealism and penetrating moral insight." He does 
not seem to set the Hebrew religion apart from 
Greek or Indian or Chinese religion by some unique 
method of revelation. The genuine prophet of any 
religion works under the compelling influence of a 
moral conviction thrust upon him as by a revela- 
tion from God, "if we agree to give the divine name 
to the altruistic will within us." 

A section on the significance of freedom (page 
147) shows the independence, courage, and breadth 
of the author's mind. He sees creeds as probably 
the greatest wrong that the church has done to 
society and to its members. They have blighted the 
free personal development of their own people and 
others. This means that the church should have 
room in full fellowship for all persons whatever 
their opinions on theological questions. The church 
must hold Jesus in high esteem because of his unique 
life, the principles he enunciated, and the powerful 
appeal of his personality but the validity of the 
honor paid him "in no way depends upon theological 
conceptions of the peculiar nature of his personality, 
still less upon traditions concerning his birth." The 
unity of the early church was expressed in the sym- 
bolism of gestures rather than by words. Baptism 
was a symbolic gesture as was the communion. The 
tragedy of the disunity of the church arose from 
insistence that the verbal symbols (creeds) should 
be the condition of admission to the symbols of 


gesture. "Even in the performance of those sym- 
bolic ceremonies . . . there must be wide liberty." 
(p. 196) 

Dr. Garnett believes that there is goodness in 
human nature and is more in sympathy with the 
Greek than the Latin theologians in this respect. 
It was under the influence of Augustine that the 
inherent sinfulness of human nature became dom- 
inant in Christian thought. It was supported by 
much in the writing of Paul, "who appears to have 
been of a similar semi-neurotic temperament." This 
view led to the doctrine of the total depravity of 
man — "a doctrine which for centuries has perverted 
and distorted Christian efforts to be of use to so- 
ciety." The result has been that "it has taught 
Christians to despair of doing any permanent good 
by seeking to improve the social order on earth, 
directing them to make all human charity merely a 
means to prepare themselves and others for the 
next world." In spite of a revival of this view in 
Barthianism the general trend of Christian thought 
today is with the Greek rather than with the Latin 
theology. "Human nature is on the side of human 
progress." What liberalism needs is an intelligent 
analysis and implementation of the good will in the 
world to give it greater dynamic zeal and practical 
procedure. The third part of the book is devoted to 
interpretation of theory and may be said to present 
the author's theology. This part is concerned with 
the idea of God and the doctrine of immortality, 
both of which are affirmatively defended in the 
writer's own original and suggestive way. It is 
interesting reading and reveals a deep and earnest 
desire to rehabilitate these beliefs in ways that 
intelligent and sophisticated people may accept. The 
glow of conviction is certain to be felt by the reader 
but he is not put under pressure to adopt the beliefs 
offered. The book has already, in the first two parts, 


made it clear that neither these nor any other beliefs 
are compulsory. Any thoughtful man's ideas on 
these subjects are interesting speculations and add 
something to the enrichment of religious thought but 
they are entirely optional. They may make us wiser 
but they still leave us free. 

This is a good Disciple book for it carries forward 
the principle of untrammeled, empirical religious 
thinking. It is devout yet critical. It is biblical and 
Christian in spirit but free from the letter. Here is 
elaborated the basis for vital fellowship among men 
of sincere good will without dogma or prejudice. 
The influence of this book ought to go far to promote 
closer unity among Disciples themselves and to 
broaden and deepen fellowship in local churches 
with all who desire to share in the practical work 
and satisfying experiences of the Christian life. 

Universalists Are Kept on the 
Waiting List 

By W.E. Garrison 

Not too much publicity has been given to the fact 
that the Universalists made formal application for 
membership in the Federal Council of Churches of 
Christ in America more than a month before the 
biennial session of the council in December, 1942, 
and that they were not admitted. The Universalists 
have smothered any resentment they may feel at 
this treatment and have accepted the rebuff in a 
Christian spirit which should go far toward con- 
vincing the "orthodox" msembers of the council that 
the Universalists are fit associates for them — if a 
Christian spirit has anything to do with it. Ob- 
viously the Federal Council had nothing to gain by 


publicizing the episode. So, what with the reticence 
of the two parties most directly concerned and the 
absorption of everybody else in the news from 
Tunisia, Guadalcanal and Stalingrad and in ration- 
ing and the chance of income tax revision by the 
new Congress, this matter has been dropped with- 
out much comment. But it calls for a little think- 
ing about. 

It would not be quite correct to say that the Fed- 
eral Council rejected the application of the Univer- 
salists. The council itself never had a chance to act 
on it. The Universalist general convention in Sep- 
tember 1941 unanimously adopted a resolution in- 
structing its board of trustees to "make application 
for membership in the Federal Council if, after 
careful exploration, it deems such action advisable." 
The condition was inserted to release the board of 
trustees from the instructions if inquiry should 
discover such opposition in the Federal Council as 
would lead to embarrassment in case formal appli- 
cation were made. The results of the inquiry, which 
included conference with the officers and various 
members of the council, encouraged the board of 
trustees to proceed. The application was made under 
date of November 2, 1942, was addressed to the 
Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, 
was delivered to the officers and by them presented 
to the Executive Committee at its meeting before 
the session of the council. The Executive Committee 
gave it a pocket veto. It took no definite action and 
did not present the application to the council. Why? 

One eleventh-hour excuse is too silly to merit 
serious consideration, but here it is. The Federal 
Council's statement of purpose in its own constitu- 
tion is: "more fully to manifest the essential one- 
ness of the Christian Churches of America in Jesus 
Christ as their divine Lord and Savior, and to pro- 
mote the spirit of fellowship, service and coopera- 


tion among them." The Universalists' application 
unequivocally affirmed "genuine sympathy with the 
objects of the Council as set forth in the constitu- 
tion." But when, in the next sentence, it reiterated 
the desire "to add our testimony to the essential 
oneness in Christ," it failed to repeat also, after 
the name of Christ, the proper formula, "our divine 
Lord and Savior," which it had already accepted 
by explicitly accepting the statement of purpose 
which contains it. This pettifogging was obviously 
nothing more than a rather desperate effort to find 
some theological excuse for an action, or non-action, 
motivated by quite different considerations. 

It is not difficult to divine what these considera- 
tions were. The Federal Council was in a ticklish 
spot. The highly controversial war resolution was 
about to come up for action. Debate was certain 
and division possible. The North American Council 
of Churches was in process of formation. The 
conservative denominations which are members of 
some of the other merging agencies, but not of the 
Federal Council, might easily become unmanageable 
if a "liberal" church were brought in. And there 
was the ever present problem of maintaining and 
extending the Federal Council's own membership 
and, for that reason, avoiding any gesture that 
might give alarm to the theologically conservative 
bodies that are either just in or are good prospects 
but still outside. The Lutherans and Southern Bap- 
tists are outside, and their adherence is much de- 
sired. The Episcopalians have just come in, and 
the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. (Southern) 
has recently come back. The Northern Baptists have 
been in all the while, but they are the objects of a 
good deal of anxiety. 

It is easy to see how the officers and executive 
committee would feel about admitting a group like 
the Universalists who, whatever may be the truth 


about them, are counted as marginal Christians 
or worse by these theological stalwarts whom the 
council is in the position of having to placate. I 
can't say that I blame them — much. The most char- 
itable interpretation is that the executive commit- 
tee merely intended to leave the Universalists on 
the doorstep for a while until they could be admitted, 
at some later time, when the affairs of the Council 
are in less delicate balance. 

But unless the Federal Council means to ignore 
facts and reason, including the reason for its own 
existence, and to adopt an ecclasiastical appeasement 
policy, it will have to face boldly these two ques- 
tions : First, how orthodox do members of the Fed- 
eral Council have to be? Second, how orthodox 
are the Universalists? 

The Federal Council is not built upon a founda- 
tion of creedal orthodoxy and it has never set up 
any doctrinal tests for member denominations. If 
it were or had, it would never have got going in 
the first place. Its principle of inclusion as an or- 
ganization of denominations cooperating for fellow- 
ship and service has been exactly that which the 
Disciples of Christ originally undertook to apply as 
the basis of unity for the Christian world as a whole 
and — until the others would accept it — for their 
own brotherhood, namely, complete theological lib- 
erty within the bond of common loyalty to Jesus 
Christ as Lord and Savior. The Federal Council 
therefore opened its doors not only to groups hav- 
ing diverse creeds but to those having no creeds at 
all. There are denominations now in it which would 
never have joined if they had been required to sub- 
scribe to any doctrinal statement more explicit than 
what is implied in the declaration of purpose. 

For our purposes, the best illustration of this is 
the Disciples themselves. With a complete aversion 
to any metaphysical definitions of the nature of God 


or Christ, they were nevertheless active in the for- 
mation of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ 
in America. There is tolerably good ground to be- 
lieve that it v^^as a Disciple (and a member of the 
Campbell Institute) v^^ho suggested this name for 
the nascent organization, and Disciples have been 
active in the w^ork of the council from then until 
now. So far as known, there has never been any 
thought of challenging their right to membership. 
Yet if orthodoxy according to the Nicene and Chal- 
cedonian formulas were to be the criterion, they 
could not be put out quickly enough to forestall their 
own withdrawal. 

The merger of the Congregational Churches and 
the Christian Church, in 1931, was the basis of a 
declaration that "Christianity is a way of life." The 
merged body is a member of the Federal Council, 
as its component parts were before. 

In short, orthodoxy in terms of the traditional 
formularies of doctrine has always been deemed 
irrelevant as a criterion of fitness for membership 
in the Federal Council. That may be one reason 
why some denominations have remained outside of 
it. If so, let them stay out until they learn that they 
can, without compromise or contamination, cooper- 
ate with those whose loyalty to Christ finds expres- 
sion in words other than their honored symbols — 
and in deeds. 

Well then, how orthodox are the Universalists ? 
There is not space to discuss them at length, but the 
answer is — plenty. Are they "evangelical"? They 
are. To be evangelical is to have a gospel; more 
specifically, a gospel of salvation by the grace of 
God. The Universalists have more of that than 
anybody. At a time when orthodox Calvinism lim- 
ited the saving grace of God to relatively few, the 
"elect," and when it was heresy to say that Christ 
died for all men, the Universalists affirmed that 


the grace of God was so unlimited and so prevailing 
that it would ultimately triumph over human sin- 
fulness and bring all men into a state where they 
would not only be saved but be fit for salvation. 
That is a tremendous act of faith. It may not be 
true, but it is ridiculous to say that it is not "evan- 

The history of Universalist thought is, of course, 
not quite so simple as the above may suggest. This 
high faith has not been embodied in authoritative 
creeds, nor have the old creeds been held as binding. 
Consequently there has been room for theological 
diversity, even as among the Disciples. Living as 
neighbors with the Unitarians in New England, and 
sharing with them the struggle for freedom from 
the dominant Calvinism of the "standing order" 
of the New England churches, there developed 
among the Universalists a Unitarian school of 
thought, represented by Hosea Ballou and his dis- 
ciples. But the temper and, as one might say, the 
temperature of the two bodies has, in general, been 
quite definitely different. On proper occasion I would 
argue that the Unitarians also ought to be admitted 
to the Federal Council. But that is another matter. 
The case of the Universalists is the one now under 
l3onsideration, and whatever anybody thinks about 
the Unitarians is no ground for keeping the Uni- 
versalists on the doorstep. Disciples, in particular, 
ought to campaign for them. We do not, of course, 
hold the particular opinion which is distinctively 
theirs and from which they derive their name. But 
they are "liberal" in the same sense that we are. 
They are as orthodox and as evangelical as we are.. 
And if it is heresy to repudiate the formulation of 
loyalty to Christ in creedal terms of modes, essences 
and persons, and to prefer simple and biblical 
phraseology with its wide margins of liberty for 
interpretation, then we are as heretical as they are. 


Reforming a Reformation 

By Frank N. Gardner, Lexington, Ky. 

"In a conversation with Henry Ward Beecher, 
during one of his visits to Cincinnati, he said to me, 
with much earnestness : 

" 'I am with Mr. Campbell with all my heart in 
his great work for the union of Christians and their 
emancipation from the thralldom of creeds and 
priestcraft. But I much fear from certain indica- 
tions, that some of his brethren fail to understand 
or to appreciate his grand argument and his liberal 
spirit, and are unconsciously building up a sectarian 
sect. I observe among them, also,a strong tendency 
to literalism — to a scrupulous devotion to the letter 
of the law, rather than to the spirit of the Book. 
This tendency is, perhaps, natural and reactionary 
from their revolt against the authority of creeds, 
and their return to the Bible as the only rule of faith 
and practice. But it is a dangerous error ; the letter 
killeth, the spirit giveth life'." 

So writes John Augustus Williams, President of 
Daughter's College, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, in his 

Evidently Henry Ward Beecher with acute per- 
ception saw that Alexander Campbell's teaching 
could be easily interpreted in terms of legalism and 
that the greatest danger to the Disciples of Christ 
lay in this possibility becoming actual. John Augus- 
tus Williams himself recognized this peril and de- 
voted three chapters of his Reminiscences to 
"Literalism." He states, "But another less happy 
consequence of the controversy over opinions was 
the evolution of a body of counter opinions which 
came to be regarded generally as the peculiar and 
distinctive views of the disciples — a creed, in fact, 
which though traditional and unformulated, was 
made by some the test or standard of everyone's 


This historic and baneful tendency toward lit- 
eralism and legalism which arose soon after our 
"movement" was bom has been the cause of all our 
major divisions and is the prime mover in another 
which is dangerously near. In a recent publication 
of the Standard Publishing Company,* an effort is 
made to appeal for the training of the Elders of the 
churches into a Disciples Gestapo. The elders are 
admonished to zealously watch the utterances of 
ministers for suspicious statements which might 
contain "unsound" doctrine. A list of doctrinal 
questions is helpfully presented as typical of those 
which should be asked a prospective minister in 
order to ascertain his "soundness." 

The elders are charged with preserving the "true 
teaching" of the gospel, as the writer and the pub- 
lishing house interpret this true teaching. Only 
Bible School literature which is "loyal" should be 
bought — "loyal" being determined evidently by 
whether or not it is bought from this private com- 
mercial publisher as books and pamphlets suggested 
are those published by this firm. Our whole co- 
operative brotherhood enterprise is condemned as 
are educational institutions not approved by the 
writer and the publishing house. "Independent" 
missions is patted on the back and the elders are 
warned against officers of "agencies" and "socie- 
ties." "If the church of Christ is to be preserved in 
its faith, its teachings, its ordinances and its life, 
its organization and its program, as it was when 
established by inspired men, the character of to- 
day's preaching must be diligently scrutinized and 
supervised." "They (the Elders) should concern 
themselves about his character (not merely as to his 
morals, but as to his mental attitudes toward re- 
vealed truth), his faith, his cultural training, etc." 

One is somewhat surprised that another leaf from 

*A Functioning Eldership, W. R. Walker. 


current "strong arm" methods was overlooked. 
Think what could be accomplished by arraigning 
a minister before the Elders upon a charge of 
"thinking dangerous thoughts!" 

This is a far cry from the founding fathers of our 
movement who pled passionately for freedom to 
think, freedom to speak, and freedom to serve! In 
1931, Alexander Campbell was not quite sure that 
his group of Disciples should unite with the Chris- 
tians because the Christians fellowshipped with the 
unimmersed and practiced open membership. Yet, 
writing in the Millenial Harbinger, he says, "Rea- 
son and experience unite their testimony in assuring 
us that, in the same proportion as individuals labor 
to be of one opinion, they disagree. The greater the 
emphasis laid upon opinions, the more rapidly they 
generate. The nearest approaches to a unity of 
opinion which I have ever witnessed, have appeared 
in those societies in which no effort was made to be 
of one opinion; in which they allowed the greatest 
liberty of opinion, and in which they talked more 
and boasted more of the glory and majesty of the 
great facts, the wonderful works of God's loving- 
kindness to the children of men, than of themselves, 
their views and attainments."^ 

Barton W. Stone in the Christian Messenger is 
even more positive when he affirms, "Christians 
cannot be blamed for their different opinions when 
they have honestly searched for the truth. My opin- 
ion is that immersion is the only baptism; but shall 
I, therefore, make my opinion a term of Christian 
fellowship? If in this case, I thus act, where shall I 
cease from making my opinions terms of fellowship ? 
I confess I see no end. But one may say that im- 
mersion is so plainly the meaning of Christian bap- 
tism that he knows not how any honest man can be 
ignorant of it. This is the very language of all 
opinionists. . . . One may say that my idea of bap- 

1 Millenial Harbinger, Vol. I., Page 147. 


tism, as meaning immersion, is not an opinion, but 
a fact. So say the orthodox respecting many of their 
unscriptural opinions, and they are as firmly per- 
suaded of them as you can be respecting immersion 
not being an opinion of baptism. 

"But," says one, "I cannot have communion with 
an unimmersed person, because he is not a member 
of the Church of Christ, however holy and pious he 
may be. . . . Shall we say all are the enemies of 
Christ who are not immersed ? We dare not. If they 
are not enemies, or if they are not against him, they 
are for him, and with him. Shall we reject those 
who are with Jesus from us ? Shall we refuse com- 
munion with those with whom the Lord communes? 
Shall we reject those who follow not with us in opin- 
ion ? Shall we make immersion the test of religion ? 
Shall we center all religion in this one point ?"2 

Consequently, because of such a spirit, in spite of 
the fact that they disagreed very emphatically upon 
"open membership," "open communion," the "trini- 
ty," and other matters, the "Disciples" and the 
"Christians" united in 1832. This was a practical 
demonstration of unity without uniformity ! It was 
an example of a successful effort to attain unity by 
a spirit of goodwill and cooperation rather than by 
an agreement in doctrine. 

John Augustus Williams, recalling a later lapse 
from this spirit, says, "But when differences arose 
and zeal for truth became pride of opinion and an 
uncharitable censure of others, the church became 
an arena — disputation took the place of investiga- 
tion, and condemnation that of love. It was not long, 
therefore, till the serious question was asked by wise 
and good brethren, How may unity be maintained 
among the advocates of union themselves?" .... 
"Let it never be said that our fathers explained the 
Bible for us, and that we, their children, must accept 
their interpretations. That Book is as open for in- 

2 Christian Messenger, Vol. V., Page 19. 


vestigation now as it ever was ; and we should search 
it without fear of any man. Let no Calvin then make 
a Servetus of his brother for daring to explore its 
beauties and comprehend its truth for himself," 

How tragic and despicable it is today with the 
world tottering in an inferno of hate and destruc- 
tion that a private publishing house should seek to 
arouse suspicion, kindle old prejudices, direct the 
elders of churches to "witch-hunting," and thus 
create ill will and confusion within a great and noble 
people. If ever the forces of goodwill needed to be 
welded together, if ever Christians needed to stand 
united against the forces of evil, today is such a day ! 
Certain it is that a great responsibility rests upon 
all of us these days. Especially does this responsi- 
bility rest upon the shoulders of our wise preachers 
and writers of this day. As Williams truly remarks, 
"They only can preserve among the brethren the 
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace ; they alone 
can hold us steadily with our accumulated wisdom, 
to the practical recognition of the principle of our 
fathers. In faith, unity; in opinion, liberty; in all 
things, charity. I call to mind the fact that the ven- 
erable John Rogers used to say, sadly, in his last 
days: 'This reformation needs to be reformed'." 

Comments by President Corey 

In The College of the Bible Bulletin 
There is a marked tendency in certain quarters 
today to label people according to their supposed 
doctrinal leanings. They are called radical, or re- 
actionary, liberal or conservative, modernist or 
fundamentalist as the labeler chooses. The classi- 
fier takes it upon himself in his speech, or in his 
religious newspaper, to fix the stigma on his fellow 
Christian, without the one he tags being present, 
or consulted, or even having a close acquaintance 
with the accuser. A sort of absentee accusation, 


trial and judgment, meted out, not to make for 
understanding and mutual trust but to make for 
division and suspicion — not to help, but to hurt. 
Often this published stigma is on one point of dif- 
ference, magnified out of all due proportion, and 
often the fact as to whether there is a real point 
of difference or not, is not in the least made clear 
or certain. The background, or circumstances, or 
any Christian leniency in judgment is never taken 
into consideration, but it is either all black or all 
white with regard to the brother who is beset. 
Irresponsible and damaging gossip is a dismal and 
coarse sin, but this stigmatizing of a person's spiri- 
tual reputation before the world, is a wicked and 
deadly transgression of the Christian law of toler- 
ance and love. It comes under the unequivocal com- 
mand of scripture: "Let us not judge one another." 
The College of the Bible has had a rare treat re- 
cently in the visit to Lexington of Dr. Clarence 
Lemmon, the new President of the International 
Convention of the Disciples of Christ. He spoke at 
the fall convocation of the seminary at Central 
Christian Church on "Religion in a World at War" 
and also the next day before the student body of 
the seminary. His addresses were characteristic of 
his fine mind and speaking ability. Dr. Lemmon 
is always clear, incisive and straight to the point. 
His thought is well balanced and always direct and 
logical. The students before whom he spoke at the 
school were delighted with his address to them. He 
spoke out of his long experience as a preacher and 
pastor, on a minister's self education aside from 
his school attainments, and emphasized the need of 
reading, perspective, poise, the dignity and power 
of preaching and proper approach to problems and 
the people themselves. The College of the Bible felt 
itself fortunate in securing Dr. Lemmon for one of 
his first engagements after coming to the presidency 
of the Convention. 


Letter from Willis A. Parker 

Asheville, N. C. 
January 15, 1943. 
Dear Dr. Ames: 

Please find enclosed a revised copy of the poem 

I made a note of your "Sense of Direction" ar- 
ticle, but omitted to reply to it. I hope it is not 
untimely to commend it now. 

As one who appeared to be "riding on a raft of 
his own improvising" let me say I had not quite 
"deserted the ship." I preferred to ride apart, rather 
than to dwell among the dissensions aboard. But I 
welcome any signs of developing moderation, and 
even more, any promise of increasing harmony 
among the passengers. 

My work, as you may know, has been mostly for 
the past twenty years more secular than religious 
in the usual sense, and most of it at some distance 
from the centers of Disciple influence. I cannot 
think I am less loyal than others in like situations, 
though it has seemed to me wiser to be a little less 
than a full participant. This is owing to my lack 
of an adaptive technique, rather than to indif- 
ference to the larger cause. I assure you it is a far 
different thing to be a liberal at the circumference, 
and isolated, than to be such in a strong, central 
position, independent of Disciple support or non- 

None the less the work done by the Campbell In- 
stitute group is important and has been ably done. 
Nothing in our whole history since the first formu- 
lation by the leaders has been so important. It has 
saved the movement from the futility that threat- 
ened it. 

Far from depreciating the importance of our 
movement and of its realignment with its wiser and 


earlier direction I deem it, if so guided, to be a 
magnitude in Western Christianity, as important as 
anything in it. My own study of our history and 
especially of our early sources has been limited for 
lack of access to materials, and lack of association 
with persons most interested; but my own conclu- 
sions have not been too wide of the conclusions made 
known by the group you represent. It is a real loss 
to me, but I confess to the feeling that I have been 
greatly enriched by fellowships denied to many 
others within the movement, due to my pursuit of 
study at Harvard and since then, in directions that 
derived their impulses during those valued years. 

I am happy to read in the article you wrote "that 
the Disciples are freer and more liberal than is gen- 
erally believed . . . that a profound change is 
coming over our brotherhood . . . that it fore- 
shadows the removal of the last barrier to full fel- 
lowship . . . with other Christians." I see the 
change when I meet Disciples who are liberally 
educated. That means mostly educated outside 
Disciple institutions. The younger men now teach- 
ing in our own colleges must be having their influ- 
ence, which is of course to a large extent your 
influence and that of others at the Divinity House. 
But apart from genuine learning I do not hope much 
from liberalizing tendencies which many profess to 
see. Such liberalizing is usually at the cost of loyal- 
ty. It was true in my own case in large part; but 
there were certain circumstances not common, that 
impelled me to go apart for study. Your recent wide 
observations are a better source than mine of recent 

Before long I wish to write thanking you for cer- 
tain insights in philosophy slowly taking clearer 
form in my mind. I congratulate you upon the grow- 
ing response to your leadership. 

Cordially always, Willis A. Parker. 


What- Bores Me 

By A. C. Brooks, Frankfurt, Ky. 

I am asked to state briefly "what bores, tires, 
wearies me most in the work of the ministry." I 
would prefer to state "what joys, satisfactions and 
compensations I have had in the work of the min- 
istry," because I find in looking over my ministerial 
ledger-book that it carries a great many more assets 
than liabilities. Needless to say there are some lia- 
bilities which we may list as "bores," but every call- 
ing or profession has its quota of negatives. One of 
my interests, since choosing the ministry in my 
senior year in high school, has been to casually listen 
to the appraisals of other professions as I have had 
the opportunity, and, invariably, I have gained the 
impression that the ministry, comparatively speak- 
ing, has less "bores" than the other callings. 

In my first pastorate in one of the soft-coal areas 
of Eastern Kentucky, which is a center for railway 
officials and employees, I had various contacts with 
railroad men within and without my church. I spoke 
to the men in the Round-house each Wednesday 
afternoon for several years. I visited the employees 
and officials individually and talked with them at 
length about railroading, because, as a boy, I was 
always fascinated by trains and I might have fol- 
lowed railroading after finishing high school had 
not a railroad superintendent, a friend of the family, 
persuaded me to give up the idea of "such a hard 
and fruitless life." Almost without exception these 
railroad men in my first pastorate discouraged their 
sons and other younger men from entering the va- 
rious branches of railroad service. 

In discussing the medical and nursing professions 
with doctors and nurses I find that they do not gen- 
erally recommend their work to those who mean 
anything to them. They say there are too many 


"hardships" in their fields. This is not as universal 
among the specialized fields of medical service as it 
is in the general fields. Almost no "country doctor" 
wants his son to be a "country doctor" because "it's 
too hard a life.' 

I have heard many jurists and general law prac- 
titioners make similar appraisals of their fields. 

Merchants, especially grocerymen, are also of the 
opinion that young men can find greener pasture on 
some other hill. 

Many teachers use the elementary and high school 
rooms as stepping-stones to larger educational fields 
or to entirely different professions. The turnover is 
surprisingly large. 

These illustrations seem to support the view that 
into every profession "some rain must fall, some 
days must be dark and dreary." The ministry is no 
exception. How prominent the "dark days" may 
become in a minister's life depends largely upon 
his own attitudes, viewpoints, motives and ambi- 
tions. Some ministers are able to adapt themselves 
easily to personality problems, others are "bored" 
by theni. Some ministers are at home with admin- 
istrative responsibilities, budgets and routine details 
while others are "bored" by them. Personally, I find 
administrative details interesting and therefore 

Some of my "bores" are: First, the slowness with 
which my efforts seem to take root and grow. It 
requires so much preaching and personal work to 
gain even the slightest apparent results. This "bore" 
no doubt, is due to my own impatience, for Jesus 
taught that the Kingdom of God develops slowly 
and unnoticed like the small mustard seed. He said 
all of our Christian efforts will not materialize as 
some of the sower's seed fell by the wayside and 
some into stony and thorny ground and produced 
nothing; some fell in good soil but only a third of 


this portion produced a perfect yield. Perhaps a 
minister should feel rewarded if he can look back 
over his ministry and note a half dozen or more 
lives that he has changed for good, but this seems 
pitifully small for forty or fifty years of hard work. 

Second, I am "bored" by those within every con- 
gregation who have to be handled with "kid-gloves ;" 
who are constantly getting their feelings ruffled 
over the most trivial matters, who feel neglected 
and threaten to join another church (but unfor- 
tunately never do) because the minister doesn't 
learn by some miraculous method the day and the 
hour when lumbago, arthritis or high-blood pressure 
lays them low and calls to see them. They telephone 
the doctor but not the preacher; however, they ex- 
pect both to come without delay. 

Third, I am "bored" by those who jokingly or 
otherwise confront me and say, "Do you remember 
me? I'll feel hurt if you can't recall my name." 
Perhaps they attended church last Easter with a 
distant cousin who was visiting the church for the 
first time since she became a member in early child- 

Fourth, I am "bored" by the slothful method, or 
lack of method, employed by the Disciples in calling 
a minister. Most pulpit committees need a lot more 
grooming before they begin courting a prospective 
minister. It is embarrassing to a minister's pride 
to be subjected to the competitive methods that are 
often employed in pulpit changes. My experience in 
this realm has not been bitter, but many of my 
fellow-ministers have been deeply hurt by pulpit 
committee bunglings and this "bores" my Disciple 

Fifth, I am "bored" by those business men who 
are always on the alert to discover new methods and 
techniques for modernizing and improving their 
businesses, but who look with skeptical eyes upon 


any new methods or programs for making religion 
attractive and appealing. 

Sixth, I am "bored" by those self-appointed critics 
who apply the emergency brake when some an- 
cestral tradition is set aside for a progressive idea; 
who "tithe mint, anise and cummin and leave undone 
the weightier matters such as love, justice and 

Seventh, I am "bored" by little men in big places 
who make grand-stand plays for popular acclaim. 
Without they are like painted sepulchres but within 
they are full of dust and dry bones. 

Eighth, I am "bored" by Disciple shibboleths. We 
were born crying for Christian Unity but we are 
often exhibit "A" in Christian Disunity. I am 
"bored" by Disciple inconsistency. 

But despite these boredoms I am convinced that I 
get out of the ministry in proportion to my invest- 
ments in it, for life has impressed me with the truth 
that if we "give to the world the best that we have, 
the best will come back to us." I am glad to be 
privileged to draw many satisfactions and compen- 
sations from the greatest of all store-houses of value, 
the Christian ministry. 

A Boring Article 

By F. E. Davison, South Bend, Indiana 

The "pope" of The Scroll has handed an edict 
that I confess my sins. He wants to know "what 
bores, tires or wearies me most in my ministry." 
The fact is I am never bored by anything except 
by requests from high-powered editors who ask that 
I do their work for them. I could tell the editor 
that the answer to his question is a professional 
military secret but since my psychologist friends 
insist that even preachers should go to confession 
occasionally I will make a boring attempt to meet 
the editor's request. 


The ministry is a poor profession for those who 
are easily bored and no minister will long remain 
out of a mental institution unless he learns how to 
turn boring experiences into revealing lights upon 
his daily tasks. You will find all kinds of people 
in your church. There is that man who is always 
taking you aside to whisper into your ear some 
choice bit of advice — ^the very thing he tells you 
about others may be but a guide post pointing the 
way for your greatest help to him. There will be 
that woman who will talk to you for an hour on the 
telephone unless you learn how to tactfully end such 
conversations. For years I received a card every 
two or three weeks from a brother who felt called 
upon to warn me that I was headed straight for hell. 
It began to get on my nerves until I reminded my- 
self that hell should have no terrors for me since I 
had then lived in Chicago for ten years. 

Some of us ministers are so constituted that any 
bit of work makes us tired out but I would say that 
systematic calling on my members wears me down 
worse than any other work I do. I can always find 
a thousand reasons why I should not do it — the 
people won't be at home, it is the wrong time to 
call, I really should attend that committee meeting, 
there is no real value in house to house calling any- 
way. These are all good reasons and the only trouble 
with them is that experience has taught me that they 
are not true. When I follow such a calling pro- 
gram I find an unusual percentage of people at 
home and although I have called from 10:00 a.m. 
to 10:00 p.m. I have never been thrown out of a 
church home yet. The doors usually swing wide 
open and the people are glad to see their pastor. 
This is a pastoral job that I always have to drive 
myself to do and I usually do it first thing after I 
get back from a vacation. Like taking castor oil, I 
get it over with as soon as possible. However it is 
surprising how well you sleep after you have done 


an honest day's work of calling ten or twelve hours. 
It is a case where a boring task becomes a rewarding 

After more than a third of a century of conduct- 
ing funeral services there is nothing that washes 
me up like a funeral. If I have two funerals in one 
afternoon, I might as well go home and go to bed. 
I suppose there is a way to keep from feeling a ten- 
sion when one stands beside a casket but I have 
never learned the way — and I am not sure I want 
to learn it. 

Perry Gresham 

An Appreciation by 
Edward McShane Waits, Fort Forth, Texas 

"High thoughts and amiable words and courtliness, 
And the desire of fame, and love of truth 
And all that makes a man." 

These words from Tennyson's "Guinevere" are a 
fine characterization of our beloved pastor, who is 
leaving us this week to accept the pastorate of the 
University Christian Church, at Seattle, Wash- 

There is universal regret in our hearts because 
during these ten years he has rendered a phenom- 
enal service and by his winsome and magnetic per- 
sonality has endeared himself in an extraordinary 
way to the church, the University, and to the city 
of Fort Worth. 

This change has been purely voluntary on his part 
and the decision was reached after long and pray- 
erful consideration of that vital and intimate prob- 
lem of the investment of a life to the glory of God 
and the advancement of his Kingdom in the hearts 
and lives of men. This was a momentous decision 
to leave the charmed circles of friends, and in the 


spirit of faith and consecration to make the great 
adventure into new fields and meet the challenge of 
new opportunities. This requires real heroism of 
the very first order. 

Since this decision has been reached, we can only 
bow gracefully, applaud his courage in his new ad- 
venture, and congratulate the University Church at 
Seattle on the conquest of this brilliant and devoted 
young leader, and fervently pray that his ministry 
there may be crowned with the splendid success 
that attended his labors in Fort Worth. 

In expressing our appreciation for our minister, 
we want to emphasize a few things that are ap- 
parent to all and yet should be recorded as a tribute 
to his wonderful success. 

He has a wonderful genius for organization. This 
has been manifest in every department of the life 
of the church — the worship, the education, the 
finances, the missionary work, evangelism, the build- 
ing program — all of these felt the touch of his 
magic hand and were molded together into one 
beautiful, symmetrical whole, the Temple of the 
Eternal. I have had the privilege of visiting many 
great churches throughout the nation, but I have 
never found a worship service more beautiful, sym- 
bolic, and spiritually uplifting than the worship 
service in the University Christian Church. 

All of this grew out of his untiring energy, wise 
planning, and faithful execution. It is true that he 
has had a fine spirit of cooperation on the part of 
his board and the membership, and many interested 
friends — but, after all, the grand permanent neces- 
sity of the church is an intelligent, devoted and 
consecrated leadership that can furnish the pattern 
of a church in the community which "attempts to 
present a religion as considerate of persons as the 
teachings of Jesus; as devoted to justice as the Old 
Testament Prophets; as responsive to truth as 
science ; as beautiful as art ; as intimate as the home ; 


and as indispensable as the air we breathe." 

Perry Gresham, in a real sense, is a great poet, 
artist, and dreamer; and the University Christian 
Church is the realization of those dreams. Justice 
Oliver Wendell Holmes declared, "That no man has 
earned the right to leadership until he has learned to 
lay his course by a star which he has never seen, and 
to dig his way by a divining rod for springs which he 
may never reach. In order to achieve great things, 
you must be both heroes and idealists." 

In this word of appreciation, we want to pay trib- 
ute not only to his genius for organization, but to his 
preaching ability as well. His pulpit message is the 
outgrowth of a rich, rare, and cultured personality 
in tune with the infinite — no gallant knight errant of 
old has a more refined courtesy. He has a poet's tem- 
perament and a fine saving sense of humor. He is a 
true philosopher and has worked out an exquisite 
and practical philosophy of life. He is a lover of 
nature and revels in the breadth and the beauty of 
God's great out-of-doors — singing birds, growing 
flowers, drifting seas, rustling woods, snow capped 
peaks, and the wandering brotherhood of the winds. 
He has a fine vision of the meaning of nature and is 
a radiant prophet of the everywhereness of God, a 
priest to us all of the wonder and bloom of the world. 
His preaching shows that he is on easy speaking 
terms with the great masters in the field of litera- 
ture, art, and music, and with rare charm, he em- 
bellishes his sermons with illustrations drawn from 
these sources. A great sermon is like a cathedral. 
The reasoning and argument are like the pillars 
which sustain the structure, and the illustrations are 
the windows. As beauty, harmony, and reverence 
characterize the stained glass windows of the cathe- 
dral and intensify the atmosphere of worship, so 
these qualities add to the effectiveness of the ser- 
mon. Indeed there is scarcely a vital truth of re- 
ligion that cannot be illumined by some reference 


to the immortal works of literature and art which 
are in our possession. Perry Gresham has seized on 
this great storehouse to great advantage and profit 
in his preaching. 

In his pastoral work, he has greatly endeared him- 
self by his love of the children — he knows them by 
name and they cling to him. He brought always a 
comforting message into the house of mourning, and 
as a mighty climax to his ministry, he has the fine 
art of just loving folks. This love for humanity is 
a necessity for a successful preacher, and the 
preacher who holds in his blood this unsophisticated 
love for humanity will be very human and very ef- 
fective. After all, folks are the most interesting 
things in the world. Few ministers that I have 
known have understood and practiced this fine art of 
praise so skillfully as Perry Gresham. It is not flat- 
tery, but a genuine vocalized appreciation, a sort of 
friendship set to music, the ability to give encour- 
agement and cheer, and to utter the word fitly 
spoken which is like the apple of gold in the basket 
of silver. 

Our minister has that wonderful ability to meet 
men of business and public affairs in the club, on the 
street, and in the market place and ingratiate him- 
self into their good graces without jarring their 
sensibilities. He leads them to believe that the real 
certificate of Christianity is more than a proved 
proposition, it is helpful and cooperative life. 

The ministry of Perry Gresham and that of his 
devoted wife who has shared in every step of his 
brilliant career, and who no doubt has been the great 
inspirational power behind the throne, has been a 
great benediction and will linger through all the 
coming years. 

I am sure we can best prove our real devotion to 
him by a great cooperative loyalty to the work which 
he has so successfully started and build a University 
Christian Church of larger dimensions and greater 


spiritual power than we have ever idealized in our 
most glowing imagination. 

Perhaps Goldsmith has given us the finest descrip- 
tion of Perry Gresham's ministry. 

"Then to relieve the wretched was his pride, 
And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side; 
But in his duty prompt to every call, 
He watched and wept, and felt and prayed for all. 
And as the bird each fond endearment tries 
To tempt its new fledged offspring to the skies, 
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay. 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way." 

Aspiration for 1943 

Bij Willis A. Parker 

A task I have to do — 

A quest to satisfy — 
Ever the larger truth pursue 

Until I come to die. 

Not for one age alone 
Nor all the past repeat : 

Today triumphant may atone 
For yesterday's defeat. 

To serve the present age 
New panoply requires: 

A world untried before us lies 
Untrodden by our sires. 

Only their courage can 

Indwell us, and impel 
To fight as they the foes we meet 

And quit ourselves as well. 

Lord of the Growing Mind — 
What e'er our lot may be — 

Endue us for the tasks we face 
As we rely on Thee. 


Democracy and Religion 

By Herbert Martin in Social Science, October, 1942 

In the Book of Revelation, John, in his vision of 
"the new Jerusalem, the holy city," heard a loud 
voice saying : "See ! God's dwelling is with men. . . . 
I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty 
and the Lamb are its temple." Such holy city needs 
no temple. In plain words, God dwells with men, no 
longer an alien being and, too, he is their light. With- 
out too great violence to these references, it may be 
said that God is that motivating power in men by 
which they achieve their optimum. God is a spirit, 
God is love. Yes, love is the greatest thing in the 
world. A society of persons in whom the spirit of 
love is the operating principle, who practise brother- 
liness, who tvill beauty in the inward parts, who seek 
enlightened understanding and adjustment to and 
within a lawful universe, physical and social, whose 
competition is that of the good life, whose members 
are too proud to entertain unworthy prejudices, who 
strive to explore life's meaning, to create and thus 
to conserve values — such a society is the Kingdom of 
God on earth. The word God, like any other term, 
is a symbol with a referent. There is no virtue or 
merit in the three letters as such. Other tongues 
have four or five or more letters to express this con- 
cept. Its significance is found in what it points to, 
in what it stands for. From my own point of view 
the word God is a symbol for those values just re- 
ferred to and all others that assist and have assisted 
man in his upward climb from proto-man to the dig- 
nity of an admirable modern man. One value, among 
others, of this suggested interpretation is that it 
gives a measure of meaning and reality to the term 
which for most people is but an habitual rhythmic 
word yielding in varying degree an emotional ex- 


perience but with no intelligible meaning. God as 
love, mercy, kindness, justice, trueness, etc., becomes 
uA actuality, a reality, in our daily experience and 
objectively publicly verified therein. So viewed, 
prayer and worship are forms of personal deter- 
mination to possess and express anew these values in 
our lives. Here religion and democracy, if indeed 
they do not merge, become complementary aspects 
of the life valuable. 

Democracy suffers handicap from traditional 
Christianity in the latter's assumption, first, that 
man's original edenic innocence was corrupted by 
knowledge, and that the taint still inheres, making 
him an alien from God. Religion itself has suffered 
seriously from its ecclesiastically promoted fear of 
knowledge. Second, and as a consequent of the for- 
mer, that man is an isolate, far from home, penalized 
with work in a hostile world, in Barthian thought 
(now happily in decline) utterly helpless, whose 
only hope of return to the homeland depends upon 
supernatural agency. The effect of such theory of 
man's relation to nature and his fellows is obvious, 
especially where religion functions in a perpendicu- 
lar relationship between the individual and the su- 
pernatural. For democracy, work is not a penalty, 
but a privilege — "each for the joy of the working." 
It is also, and more, a necessity. Since democracy 
is a continuously creative process, not a completed 
given, there is need for incessant work, physical and 
mental, on the part of all its citizens in every area 
of human activity. Only through work can per- 
sonality, character, and democracy itself be achieved. 
Masaryk said that "genuine democracy will be eco- 
nomic and social as well as political" ; it will be "co- 
effort by all for the state as a whole." 


Books of Substance 

By W. B. Blakemore 

The Making of the Modern Mind by J. H. Randall, 
Jr., is so well known that to some it may sound like 
thrashing old straw to suggest it is this month's 
book of substance. But since its initial publication 
by Houghton Mifflin Co. in 1926 it has proved val- 
uable enough to warrant a revised edition during 
the past year. 

The continuing importance of Randall's work is 
that it helps to keep alive a truth that was hard won 
and is hard to keep. It is only in recent years that 
the erroneous notion that thinking is an indepen- 
dent, individual logical procedure has been over- 
come. The generation just preceding our own 
grasped the truth that human thought has a history, 
that the thinking of any individual, no matter how 
independent it may seem to be to him, has historic, 
social and psychological determinants. This is true 
both of the "man of the street" and the trained 
philosopher, though the latter may be more aware 
of this truth about his rational processes. But even 
for him it requires an eternal vigilance lest he lose 
the sense of the historic quality of his thought. We 
constantly deal with immediate problems in a dia- 
lectical fashion which appears to be purely logical. 
Hence, we tend to lose the historic sense even though 
we may have been aware of it in the past. Randall 
realized that the thought-content of any man is a 
"mosaic" of notions that have histories. His book is 
a history of the notions that shape modern thinking. 
Whitehead did a similar task in Adventures of Ideas. 
Whitehead's work is more profound, but not as in- 
clusive in its treatment. And Whitehead was writing 
for philosophers, while Randall has written for 
every man. The Making of the Modern Mind is not 
a history of philosophy ; it is rather a history of no- 


tions or ideas. It aids any reader to keep in touch 
with the grass roots of modern ideologies and his 
own thinking. 

'This Is a Great Moment^' 

You, at this moment have the honor of belonging 
to a generation whose lips are touched by fire. . . . 
The human race now passes through one of its great 
crises. New ideas, new issues — a new call for men 
to carry on the work of righteousness, of charity, of 
courage, of patience, and of loyalty — all these things 
have come and are daily coming to you. 

When you are old . . . however memory brings 
back this moment to your mind, let it be able to say 
to you : That was a great moment. It was the be- 
ginning of a new era. . . . This world its crisis called 
for volunteers, for men of faith in life, of patience in 
service for humanity, of charity and of insight. I 
responded to the call however I could. I volunteered 
to give my self to a ministry of love — the cause of 
humane and brave living. I studied, I loved, I la- 
bored, unsparingly and hopefully, to be worthy of 
my generation. 

— Josiah Boyce. 


In the last two numbers the addresses of all mem- 
bers of the Campbell Institute have been given so 
far as they could be verified. In these changing 
times it is difficult to make the list accurate. Readers 
will do a good service by informing us of any errors. 

Perry J. Rice is one of those veterans who never 
loses interest in the Institute. He has called to- 
gether the Fellows in California more than once and 
reports a recent fine meeting. 


George Earle Owen in New York writes of plans 
for the Fellows from Union and Yale to have a meet- 
ing. We wish we might accept his invitation to be 
present. It is good to know that members on both 
coasts feel the urge and the loyalty to further the 
cause of light and freedom! 

We have made a list of Emeriti who are now free 
men and we shall offer them invitations to write 
articles giving their suggestions for further emanci- 
pation of the True Faith. 

We also have a list of active men in state univer- 
sities and in other colleges who look at the Disciple 
scene from the side-lines. Their observations ought 
to be illuminating, too. 

If we could get the names of Yale men and others 
who have left the fold to preach elsewTiere we would 
try to get them to tell what they have gained — and 
lost — by the change. However, there are more Yale 
men who have stayed by the ship than have left it. 
Maybe they could tell why they did not leave ! 

It is our conviction that the tide has turned among 
educated Disciples from the old conservative or un- 
conscious ways of our traditionalism to a new sense 
of our essential liberalism and of the great promise 
of the future. We propose henceforth to heed the in- 
junction of Hebrews 6:1-3, according to the New 
Testament in Basic English. 

W. H. Walker, Illinois State Secretary, says there 
are 300 rural churches of Disciples in the state, 175 
in towns of 1200 or less, and 175 in larger towns and 

Poorly educated ministers often have more zeal 
than education and are likely to barge into small 
churches and sell themselves at very low salaries. 
It would be better for the world if men had zeal' in 
proportion to their education. 

Where will the Chaplains go after the war and 
how will they bear lower salaries than they get in 
the army? 


Vol. XL. MARCH, 1943 No. 7 

Disciple Colleges 

By E. S. Ames 

For the centennial of higher education among the 
Disciples of Christ, President Cramblett, of Bethany 
College, delivered an address at the international 
convention in Kansas City, October, 1936. It v^^as 
a challenging address and the challenge has become 
greater during the last seven years. Here is one 
passage: "Recent studies conducted by our Na- 
tional Committee on Student Work reveal that only 
10 per cent of the young people of our churches who 
go to college are going to our ov^n church-related 
colleges; whereas 75 per cent of our church young 
people who go to college are to be found in tax- 
supported institutions. The other 15 per cent are 
securing their education in colleges of other relig- 
ious groups . . . There is no college in our Associa- 
tion that could continue to operate successfully if 
the support of Catholic, Jew, and other Protestant 
individuals were immediately withdrawn." 

The Board of Higher Education, under the vigor- 
ous leadership of its Executive Secretary, John L. 
Davis, is now confronting this situation with the 
added difficulties which war has brought. It is partly 
a financial problem but the real problem lies much 
deeper. This question is whether the colleges and 
the churches which they represent have sufficiently 
cherished the views of religion and education with 
which the Disciples founded their first colleges. 
President Cramblett said in his address, "It is not 
without significance that the first college claiming 
the support of our people chose a name made famous 
by Bacon's explanation and defense of the scientific 
method. Its curriculum emphasized sound scien- 


tific principles of study and investigation . . . The 
founders of Bethany College undertook to build a 
college that on academic grounds was in every way 
the equal and in many ways the superior of the edu- 
cational institutions of that day. The curriculum 
announcements emphasized the importance of a 
spirit of free inquiry into all fields of human interest 
and activity." He quoted Alexander Campbell as 
saying, 'Who can arrest the progress of free in- 
quiry? ... It is safer and happier for society that 
the mind should be permitted to rest with full as- 
surance only upon its own investigations, and that 
perfect freedom of inquiry should be guaranteed to 
every man to reason, to examine and judge for him- 
self on all subjects in the least involving his own 
present or future destiny, or that of society." Pres- 
ident Cramblett adds: 'The effective Christian col- 
lege for today and for the future must have this 
same fearless attitude toward truth, toward the 
spirit of free inquiry after truth." 

The founders of Bacon College held that higher 
education, whether in science or engineering or in 
the arts, could best be carried on in a religious at- 
mosphere. Mr. Campbell believed that a free and 
vital religion is the most essential part of education. 
Here is disclosed a clear and emphatic conviction 
of the need of carrying education in all subjects 
along with religion. That this meant profound 
changes and adjustments in religion was evident. 
One radical change was the rejection of the old, tra- 
ditional forms of theology. These could not live in 
the presence and with the spirit of "free inquiry." 
Therefore Mr. Campbell saw to it that it was speci- 
fied in the charter of Bethany College that theology 
should not be taught in that institution. But he did 
teach religion, and in many ways, to all the students 
whatever their particular fields of study. It is to the 
credit of Bethany that it has never set religious in- 
struction apart from the departments of science and 


the arts as so many Disciple colleges have done. 

In a number of our institutions where there is a 
special school for the training of ministers, the 
separation has become painfully complete. It has 
been a gradual process and the reasons for it are 
not difficult to see. In one of these schools some 
years ago the president deliberately took the posi- 
tion that the school for the training of ministers 
should be treated as a separate entity. He held that 
its support should be laid upon the churches and 
that the support of the college of liberal arts should 
be sought from the city without regard to religious 
connections. He even stated it baldly in terms of 
a kind of philosophy of the situation. Questions 
of evolution and academic freedom had been both- 
ering his administration. His solution was that sci- 
ence and religion belong to different spheres and 
therefore the teachers of religion do not need to take 
account of scientific ideas, discoveries and inven- 
tions, while teachers of science and cultural subjects 
are equally free to ignore any alleged consequences 
of scientific (secular) thought in the field of religion. 
This plan did not work very well and that admin- 
istration did not last long. 

Something like this division of interests has char- 
acterized other institutions especially those located 
in cities. As they have built large stadiums, devel- 
oped winning athletic teams, and organized frater- 
nities, they have been able to attract more students 
from the community and to conduct larger finan- 
cial campaigns vvith the powerful aid of civic pride. 
Teachers have been selected more and more with 
reference to their academic records and less and less 
with regard to any concern about the religion cher- 
ished by Disciples. In this way many colleges, orig- 
inally church schools, have been "secularized" to the 
limit. And the Biblical schools have been sancti- 
fied," that is, set apart. Often the ministerial stu- 
dents have had to bear the onus of their unworldly 


status. Some attempts have been made to bridge the 
chasm between the two types of institutions by giv- 
ing some undergraduate courses in the history and 
philosophy of religion, and in several instances the 
local churches have adopted "open-membership" for 
students during their college days while scrupu- 
lously adhering to "closed-membership" for all 

The cure for this situation will not be first of ail 
financial. Increased endowments might only em- 
phasize the separation between general education 
and religion. What is most needed is a recovery of 
the attitude of the founding fathers who clearly 
rejected the difference between the sacred and the 
secular and sought to keep a vital religious atmos- 
phere in the whole college, and a genuinely sci- 
entific spirit in all departments, including that of 
biblical instruction. They endeavored to do this 
by an entirely new interpretation of both life and 
religion. They rejected from their religious teach- 
ing all the old scholasticism and all of Protestant 
theology. They stressed essential Christianity as 
primarily loyalty to Christ without dogmas concern- 
ing the Virgin Birth and without any creedal doc- 
trines of biblical inspiration, miraculous Grace, the 
Trinity, or the future life. They adopted the prin- 
ciples of what has come to be known as "higher criti- 
cism" and they received into their church fellowship 
persons known to hold unitarian and universalist 
convictions. When the doctrine of evolution ap- 
peared the wisest leaders accepted it or at least al- 
lowed it. The ideal of Christian union was their ob- 
jective and they sought to make it effective by prac- 
tising the widest possible fellowship with all who 
loved Christ and sincerely endeavored to follow him 
to the best of their knowledge and ability. 

Churches v/hich took such a position were logically 
and practically able to foster colleges concerned with 
all the sciences and arts and loith the training of 


men for the Christian ministry. In such colleges 
there would be no legitimate separation between 
fact and value. All facts have value in some con- 
nection, and all values are facts. In the real "plea" 
of the Disciples there is no conflict between science 
and religion, and on the basis of this plea, rightly 
understood, every teacher in the college should be a 
religious man, and every one teaching religion should 
use scientific method in his subject. 

This is the deeper problem to which the Board of 
Higher Education should address itself. All other 
questions are secondary and no amount of energy de- 
voted to them can accomplish the desired results un- 
til the real problem is met. That problem concerns 
the nature of religion as the Disciple mind at its best 
has conceived it. This problem cannot be solved by 
the colleges within themselves. They need the sup- 
port of an enlightened lay membership in the 
churches. The colleges have the opportunity and the 
obligation to carry these ideas and convictions to 
their constituency in the churches throughout the 
land. Ministers and people need to be aroused to the 
great historical and ideological inheritance which 
has made the Disciples as numerous and as great as 
they are. In these days when educational institu- 
tions great and small are trying all sorts of experi- 
ments in courses of study and methods of work, it 
would be worth while for this young, vigorous reli- 
gious body to undertake as its most vital and signifi- 
cant project a restudy of its colleges in relation to 
distinctive Disciple religious conceptions. 


. Pioneers 

Henry Barton Robison 

Whether Disciples are reformers, restorers, or 
just stimulators of creative thinking and living, they 
are pioneers. They are pioneers by heritage and 
should be so by practice, and so be worthy of their 
heritage. Their heritage is valuable, more so than 
they have realized. As individually and collectively 
they increase the practice of their heritage of cour- 
ageous changing of the ways of life that are no 
longer fruitful, they deepen their appreciation of 
their heritage. It is not our heritage to be recipients, 
promoters, and maintainers of what our Fathers 
thought, though at times it may be well to do that, 
but it is to think courageously and constructively, 
as they did, removing the debris of outworn systems 
that are no longer productive and that clutter the 
highway of life. It was rather our Fathers who dis- 
covered such things in their day than it was such 
things that forced themselves upon their attention. 
They saw the problems of their day and wrestled 
with them, sometimes to the consternation of their 
contemporaries. What they created made them our 
Fathers and what we create, not merely what we 
keep, will make us their sons. 

Surely the fields for constructive thinking today 
are abundant. The seeds are plentiful, the soil is 
fertile, the atmosphere is stimulating, the harvests 
are promising, and the markets are responsive; but 
cultivation is needed, labor is lacking, man power is 
scarce, and the skilled workmen are already occu- 
pied with other things. Where are the pioneers to 
work at pioneering tasks ? 

The people of this country outgrew and became 
tired of the rulership thought-world, in which sin 
is disobedience to the order of the ruler, and the 
blackest sin is doubt of the ability or the integrity of 


the ruler or administration, and they grew into a 
partnership thought-world, in which sin is failure to 
grow, or to hinder others from growing, or to fail 
to help others to grow ; and they developed a consti- 
tution for their civil government in harmony with 
such ideas, in which such words as king, kingdom, 
lord, and ruler do not occur. With such results as 
these one might imagine that Jesus himself was a 
member of the constitutional convention. Slowly 
through the decades the people of the country have 
been trying to wean themselves from lordship prac- 
tices to democratic customs, from rulership im- 
perialism to partnership living, from kingdom 
phraseology to brotherhood language, in which God 
does not give rewards nor issue punishments, but 
assures results, so that the war is not God's judg- 
ment upon man's sins, but rather the normal and 
expected result of the sinful conduct of men and of 
their governments. As in the thought of Jesus, God 
is not an autocratic dictator, but He is fatherly and 
man is a responsible partner with Him in the affairs 
of the world. 

There are many fields waiting for workers, for 
while in civil life knowledge is rapidly developing 
through experience and research, the church has not 
kept pace in its thinking and in creating adequate 
terms in which to express its thought. It has not 
been able to follow Jesus in his daring progress of 
freeing man from gods and men and from his own 
inadequacies. Possibly a part of the hindrance lies 
in the fact that the early church adopted all of the 
Old Testament as its Bible. Did the membership of 
the early church lack the understanding and the in- 
sight that Jesus had to select the universal creative 
elements of the Jewish Scriptures and exclude the 
autocratic, priestly, legalistic, and nationalistic ele- 
ments? That is evident both in the adoption of the 
Old Testament as the Bible of the church and in the 
New Testament itself, some of which is pre-Chris- 


tian. Some of its writers did not divest themselves 
of all of their non-Christian mental possessions be- 
fore they v^rote. As the church came through the 
Roman Empire and the later European world, it ab- 
sorbed much of the nature of its environments and 
practiced the imperialisms of the centuries. The 
wonder is that Jesus remained a dominant element 
in it. Many leaders of the church, bound by author- 
ity, did not think of thinking through their heritage, 
and the most of those who did think dared not try 
to make changes. Such bondage has made bright 
minds dull, not only in the pulpit, but also in collage 
halls today, where students, brilliant in other de- 
partments, enter classes in religion with minds in- 
hibited from thinking until painfully and slowly they 
are freed for normal thinking about the Bible. 

Those who can help the church to act more chris- 
tianly within itself, and furnish better leadership 
for the life of all the peoples of the world, ought to 
devote themselves to that creative task. Among the 
uncounted number of people who tried to replace the 
world that was with something better were Amos, 
Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, Jesus, Paul, Luther, 
and the Campbells and their co-workers. To a pas- 
tor, blest with preparation and purpose, the present 
world condition appeals for pioneer thinking to help 
the church become a better factor in creating the 
christian world that is to be. 

Disciples and Ritualism 

By C. M. Sharpe, McConnellsville, N. Y. 

To what extent there may be a growth of ritual- 
ism among the churches of the Disciples, the present 
writer is not adequately informed. He finds it hard 
to believe that such tendencies have become danger- 
ously prominent, if, indeed, danger there may be in 
them. Of ritualism in general, as the ideal and prac- 


tice has existed in the worship of the liturgical 
churches of Christendom, there is no need to treat. 
We are all presumed to know that ritualism con- 
sists fundamentally in the artistic manipulation of 
religious symbols in worship, to the end that wor- 
ship may lift and lead the soul ever into higher 
spheres of reality — the spiritual reality which re- 
ligion calls God. Concerning any type of ritual one 
would ask certain pragmatic questions, such as, for 
example, does it conduce to deeper reverence — is it 
spiritually impressive — is it inspiring and trans- 
forming in respect of moral and spiritual attitudes 
and action? "If we do not reap new explanations, 
new clews to action, new powers of self-devotion and 
self-control, new appreciation of others' strength 
and of our own weakness, then our worship has been 
fruitless; in the end it may degenerate into self- 
indulgence, a wallowing in emotion for emotion's 
sake, or a slavish engrossment in details of habitual 
rite." (Cabot) 

It is our purpose here to inquire whether there 
are, in our religious heritage as Disciples, any fac- 
tors which ought to inhibit or render cautious these 
alleged tendencies to ritualism among us. Plainly, 
we must at once ask what sort of a people are the 
Disciples of Christ. What principle or principles do 
they accept as controlling their beliefs and prac- 
tices ? Are they a people semper idem, as our Cath- 
olic friends claim for themselves ? Have they already 
an implicit ritual, which would forbid the develop- 
ment of an explicit ritual? 

In discussing the matter it seems to this writer 
that we ought frankly to recognize the differences of 
opinion that exist among us with reference to this 
question of self -definition. Then we ought to explore 
the significance of these differences as regards the 
legitimacy as well as availability of ritualism for 
our use in public worship. 

Let us take first the original definition of the Dis- 


ciples' movement as one for the attainment of Chris- 
tian unity by the restoration of New Testament 
Christianity. From the very first there was present- 
ed an Object and a Method for attaining the object. 
To the minds of the pioneering fathers these two 
items were correlates, and practically co-ordinates. 
If this be granted, as I think it must be, then what 
attitude, as regards ritualism, would we expect on 
the part of those who still hold to this definition of 
the Disciples' movement? Logically they need not 
be opposed to the idea of a ritual form of worship, 
but they must require that all ritual elements shall 
be in accord with the picture of New Testament or- 
der as reflected in the New Testament v^ritings. If 
they are strict in their application of the principle of 
restoring the "ancient order of things" they will 
probably regard the New Testament as the all-suf- 
ficient authority and guide for worship as well as for 
doctrine and life. Inasmuch as the details of wor- 
ship explicitly given in the New Testament are of a 
meager and simple sort it will probably be concluded 
that the divine intention was to exclude the highly 
developed forms of pre-Christian and pagan reli- 
gions with all their complexity and "vain repeti- 
tions." Even those among the Disciples who are not 
extreme in their demand for a restoration of the 
primitive order in terms of an exact and detailed 
apostolic pattern, and who are content with some 
rather indefinite "Ideal of New Testament Chris- 
tianity" will yet, nevertheless, look askance upon any 
pronounced tendency toward an extensive inflation 
of the language of worship by an importation of ma- 
terials from extra-biblical sources. The principle of 
adhering to biblical terms in all references to bibli- 
cal things such as doctrines, ordinances and worship, 
will still exert considerable influence upon their 
thought and feeling. Herein one sees how thorough- 
ly Protestant has been the disciple heritage in re- 
spect of their anti-formal attitude toward the tradi- 


tional Christian cultus. This opposition of original 
Protestantism, though based primarily upon its re- 
volt against the Romish doctrine of sacramentalism, 
extended also to the aesthetic motivation of ritualis- 
tic forms. As Phillips Brooks long ago pointed out, 
"In its more earnest moods, in its reformations, in 
its Puritanisms, Christianity has always stood ready 
to sacrifice the choicest works of artistic beauty for 
the restoration or the preservation of the simple 
majesty of righteousness, the purity of truth." This, 
I think, would apply in the main to the thought and 
attitude of the Disciples during most of their his- 

But shall we now consider another and more re- 
cent conception of the Disciples' movement, which 
has obtained considerable vogue and standing. This 
way of thinking, while not denying the large place 
and influence of Reformation principles throughout 
the whole process of our historical development, 
holds the early leaders to have been men of far 
greater sympathy with the dawning modern age 
than were the Reformers of the Sixteenth Century. 
This view sometimes takes the form of a claim that 
the Disciples' movement derived its deepest charac- 
ter and motivation from the Renaissance and En- 
lightenment periods, rather than from the Reforma- 
tion. To be sure the Reformation itself received 
large and generous gifts from the Renaissance and 
the early stirrings of the modern spirit of free in- 
quiry, but our Disciple forbears somehow got an ex- 
tra quantum and this enabled them to inaugurate 
and lead a religious movement having a vital logic 
and a dynamic force sufficient to carry it over the 
dead-points of scholastic theology and orthodox ec- 

From this point of view it is at once seen that 
the legalistic, formalistic character of the Disciples' 
movement with its idea of a restored New Testa- 
ment Church having certain definite and indefectible 


marks of dogma, rite and ceremony, can no longer 
be controling. The fundamental concept of the 
Church which rises from what is deepest in the Dis- 
ciples* movement is that of an universal fellowship 
of Faith and Christian Liberty under the guidance 
of the spirit of Jesus and untrammeled either by in- 
flexible verbal dogmas or by changeless forms of 
any sort. The present writer has no desire to argue 
here the merits of these differing views regarding 
the fundamental nature of the Disciples' movement. 
But let us now ask what reaction to the question of 
ritualism may we reasonably expect upon the part of 
those who accept the more recent, and, some would 
say, more radical way of thinking about the Dis- 
ciples' vocation in the modern world. 

At this point the writer could devoutly wish he 
were furnished with some accurate information con- 
cerning the spread of the ritualistic virus, or elixir 
(according to your prepossession) throughout the 
body ecclesiastic of our Disciples' Zion. He sus- 
pects there might be instances among both persua- 
sions, though likely not in equal numbers. If our 
more conservative brethren were persuaded by the 
presentations of a recent article in the American 
Journal of Religion, "Liturgy-making Factors in 
Primitive Christianity," by Allen Cabaniss, they 
might feel greatly enlarged in their liberty of en- 
riching their own congregational worship. 

However, such enlightenment upon the biblical 
state of the case would be of no value to the Disciple 
who has been emancipated from adhesion to any 
past, as such. He is all for loyalty to the new in- 
sights of a higher and better stage of development. 
If he is to accept any ritualistic forms as a desirable 
element in modern religious practice, they must be 
capable of pragmatic justification. It must show its 
fruits, or, at least, give reasons sufficient to justify 
a process of experimentation in the course of which 
fruits may or may not appear. And what would be 


the nature of the effects demanded from the practice 
of ritual forms? Do they indeed further the wor- 
ship of a living God in sincerity and in truth, and 
not merely permit 

"The fervent tongue 

Prompt to deceive, with adulation smooth 

Gain on the purposed will." 

Do these ritual forms indeed celebrate a high and 
workable ideal of active and achieving faith, or do 
they merely catalogue certain marks left by the re- 
ceding high tides of former spiritual power? Is 
there not danger that an excessive and uncritical 
employment of classic forms, however beautiful they 
may be, will tend to lull the souls of modern be- 
lievers in a quietist cradle thus unfitting them for 
that aggressive and pedestrian courage which new 
days and new tasks demand. 

My willing soul would stay 
In such a frame as this. 

And sit and sing itself away 
To everlasting bliss. 
I would conclude by remarking that there are and 
may be rituals and rituals. That a prescribed and 
standard ritual should ever come to prevail among 
our Disciple churches, even to the extent that is true 
of some Protestant bodies, is to me an unthinkable 
thing. I look for and am willing to see greater 
varieties obtain among the Disciples, rather than a 
lesser number. But, that there will be ritual of 
some sort, that is, forms of orderly and increasingly 
worshipful worship, is my fervent hope. Nowhere 
is a ritualism more oppressive and dreary than in 
many falsely-so-called free churches, which are not 
free but enslaved to a crystallization of crudities. 
From this, although they have freely made it or per- 
mitted it to grow upon them, they ought to be res- 
cued as from a living perdition. Let all churches 
have the ritualism that their own need demands and 
that their mental and spiritual resources can decent- 


ly operate. "The spirit bloweth where it listeth" 
but there are places and circumstances in which it 
doth not list, or if it lists it is unable to overcome the 
contrary winds which also blow. Of the need for 
ritual improvement and of what sort it should be in 
any given situation no one can so well judge or pro- 
vide as the well trained and competent minister 
who lives with his people, who knows his own sheep 
and is known of them. 

About Barton Warren Stone 

By Frank N. Gardner, Lexington, Kij. 

Since the publication of W. E. Garrison's Alexan- 
der Campbell's Theology at the turn of the century, 
there has come about a growing appreciation among 
Disciples of the contribution which Disciple "pion- 
eers" have made to religious thinking. We have come 
to appreciate the distinctive qualities of the "Dis- 
ciple Mind" and have sought how that quality of 
mind might best make its contribution to the vital 
flow of the Christian faith. Among those to whom 
we are most indebted for insights into the true na- 
ture of the genius of our "fathers in the faith" are 
Professor Garrison, Dean Ames, and the late E. E. 

Due to many factors the preponderant portion of 
interest has centered about Alexander Campbell and 
the influence of John Locke upon Campbell's think- 
ing. Consequently the Lockian influence upon the 
"Disciple Mind" has received considerable atten- 
tion. This creative insight into a better understand- 
ing of the Disciples has been extremely valuable and 
we are deeply indebted to those who, in the past and 
present, have urgently brought this meaning to us. 

What Garrison and Ames have done regarding 
Alexander Campbell someone needs to do for Barton 
W. Stone. While we have an excellent biography of 
Stone written by the versatile C. C. Ware, so far as 


I know, no one has yet written a thorough-going in- 
terpretation of Stone's religious faith and his 
thought. There are a number of unpublished short 
theses covering some phases of Stone's thought but 
there is a tremendous amount of first hand histori- 
cal material available which has never been ade- 
quately treated. 

This failure to properly estimate Stone's contri- 
bution to the Disciples and the Christian world at 
large is one of the minor tragedies of the Disciples. 
E. E. Snoddy in his later years repeatedly expressed 
his concern over the failure of the Disciples to ade- 
quately appreciate Stone and his contribution. In 
the introduction which Snoddy wrote for Ware'^- 
biography he says : 

"To Stone belongs priority in time, priority in American 
experience, priority in the ideal of unity, priority in evan- 
gelism, priority in the independency ' of his movement, 
priority in the complete repudiation of the Calvinistic sys- 
tem of theology, and finally, priority in sacrificial devo- 
tion to his cause. An unstinting recognition of Barton W. 
Stone as one of the originators of their movement, and a 
larger incorporation of his spirit and ideals into their life, 
would bring incalculable benefit to the Disciples of 

This last sentence is especially pertinent for Dis- 
ciples at the present time when a strong reactionary 
movement is threatening to turn large sectors of the 
Disciples toward legalism. 

Significant as Campbell's contribution was in the 
field of free inquiry, liberty, and true liberalism 
there was nevertheless a certain quality of his think- 
ing which tended toward legalism. He was greatly 
interested in restoring the ancient order' of things as 
the method of attaining Christian union. Signifi- 
cantly enough he gave the title "The Christian Sys- 
tem" to one of his books. While it is true that 
Campbell therein stated his own system of faith and 
did not think of imposing his ideas upon others it is 

iWare, C. C, Barton Warren Stone. Introduction, p. xi. 


also just as true that the legalistic tenor of much of 
his thought had a greater impact upon the second 
Disciple generation than the liberal elements in his 
thinking. As a matter of fact, most of the serious 
difficulties faced by the Disciples have been brought 
about by this stream of legalistic thinking through- 
out our history. Further, whether we like it or not 
the greater share of the brotherhood is influenced by 
this side of Campbell's thinking. Perhaps not the 
preachers, but most certainly the people are. For 
this reason alone we need to come to a better appre- 
ciation of Stone, his religion, and his spirit. 

John Augustus Williams, who knew both men 
well, keenly observed the difference of temperament 
and spirit between Campbell and Stone. Writing re- 
garding the events which preceded the union of the 
Disciples and Christians in 1832, he says: 

"In fine, while both labored for the union of Christians, 
Mr. Campbell thought that the only practicable way to ac- 
complish it was to propound the Ancient Gospel and the 
Ancient Oi'der of Things in the words and sentences found 
in the Apostolic writings; to abandon all tradition and 
usages not found in the Record, and to make no human 
terms of communion. Elder Stone urged, more emphasi- 
cally, but not in opposition to this sentiment, the com- 
munion of Christians in the spirit of the Bible, rather than 
a formal union on the Book. He exhorted his brethren to 
seek for more holiness rather than trouble themselves and 
others with schemes and plans of union. 'The love of God,' 
said he, 'shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given 
unto us, will more effectually unite than all the wisdom 
of the world combined. "2 

It is always best to let a man speak for himself and 
the following passages will give some indications 
of Stone's thought and spirit. They will perhaps 
show something of the depth and keenness of his 
understanding, his intellectual courage and honesty, 
his broad fellowship of mind and heart, and his 
dominating idea that the union of the divided house 

-Williams, John Augustus, "Life of Elder John Smith." 
p. 446. 


of God could only be brought about upon the basic 
principle of inclusiveness through love and fellow- 
ship. In 1804, in the section of The Apology of the 
Springfield Presbytery which Stone wrote, he says 
(opposing the prevalent idea that God loved only 
the elect). 

"The love of God is the spring, or moving cause of all 
the benefits of the gospel. — To say that God loved us, on 
condition that we should love him, would destroy the very 
idea of the gospel. 'We love him, because he first loved 
us.' — I John IV: 19. And 'herein is love, not that we loved 
God, but that he first loved us.'— I John IV: 10. The 
world, the whole world of mankind, is the object of God's 
love, and to which he has given his Son." 

Stone always insisted that the Christian faith was 
preeminently a way of living. He asserted that men 
could be good Christians and still hold erroneous 
theological doctrines. To Stone the primary task 
of the Christian was to live a Christian life which 
to him meant the way of brotherly love, good will, 
helpfulness and devotedness. Of only one thing was 
Stone intolerant and that was intolerance itself. He 

"Among fallible mortals, who know so little a tolerant 
spirit ought to prevail; especially among Christians. A 
Christian is to be judged by his fruits — if the fruit be good 
the tree is also good. If we determine a man to be good or 
bad, by his notions or opinions, we are sure to err, and 
contradict matters of fact. For how many have orthodox 
sentiments, and wicked practices; and how many are holy 
in their lives, but have erroneous opinions. — If, to the pro- 
fession of faith in Jesus Christ, as the only Savior of sin- 
ners, be joined a dependence on him alone for salvation — 
if to this be added a holy life according to the gospel, this 
man, thus professing and acting is a Christian in the esti- 
mate of heaven. — If God designs to receive and commune 
with such, who shall reject him? What if he may have 
erroneous opinions? Yet they do not become principles of 
his heart or life, so as to influence him to err in practice. 

"One thing I have ever observed, that in every revival of 
pure religion, the spirit of toleration revives with it; and 
as religion declines, intolerance increases. Pure religion 


expands the souls of Christians; hut bigotry contracts 

During the years immediately preceding the 
union of the Christians and the Disciples in 1832 
both Campbell and Stone carried on communications 
with each other through the journals which they 
edited. They conversed personally also during this 
pre-union period but no full record of their conver- 
sations is available. We do have available their 
editorials in the Christian Baptist, the Millennial 
Harbinger, and the Christian Messenger. During 
this period Campbell seemed somewhat hesitant 
about union with the Christians because of Stone's 
unorthodoxy, his suspected "unitarianism," prac- 
tice of "open membership" and especially Stone's 
conception of the person of Jesus. Stone had re- 
jected the doctrine of the trinity as it had been 
formulated and was a mono-theist without being a 
unitarian. Campbell at this period found it diffi- 
cult to understand Stone's position. The following 
exchange is interesting: 

"Brother Stone, 

I will call you brother because you once told me that you 
could conscientiously and devoutly pray to the Lord Jesus 
Christ as though there was no other God in the universe 
than he," — * 
To which Stone replied: 

"Brother Campbell, 

I will call you brother, but for a different reason than 
you have assigned why you called me brother. — I am 
heartily sorry to say anything that may prevent you from 
fraternizing with me; yet that honesty by which I regulate 
my life compels me to state some things in order that you 
may not be deceived in me, and that your brotherly affec- 
tion may not be misplaced. If you call those only brethren, 
who can conscientiously pray to the Lord Jesus as though 
there were no other God in the universe than he, and who 
supremely venerate him, then, my dear Sir, I am excluded 

^An address to the Christian Churches in Kentucky, Ten- 
nessee, and Ohio on Several Doctrines of Religion. Nashville, 
Tenn., 1814. pp. 98-99. 

*The Christian Baptist, Vol. V ,No. 3, October, 1827. 


from the number. — From all your public exhibitions from 
the press and from the pulpit, as well as from your private 
communications, we have been induced to believe that you 
fraternized with all who believe that Jesus Christ was the 
Son of God, and who were willingly obedient to his com- 
mands. This we have thought was the only term of fel- 
lowship on which you insisted with so much zeal and sound 
argument. Have we misunderstood you? — Or have you 
changed your mind? And are you now determined to call 
no man brother, unless he can conscientiously pray to the 
Lord Jesus as the only God of the universe, and can wor- 
ship him supremely?" 5 

The question of "open membership" was discussed 
freely by the two men prior to the union of the 
groups of which they were the leaders. Alexander 
Campbell fellowshipped only with immersed be- 
lievers and Barton W. Stone practiced what we now 
call "open membership." These statements would 
indicate Stone's position. In reply to an editorial 
of Campbell's in the Millennial Harbinger, Stone 

"Mr. Campbell observes, 'The Editor of the Christian 
Messenger has, it seems, contended for the theory of im- 
mersion, for the remission of sins, when 'well guarded' — 
guarded, I hope he means only by faith in the subject.' 
(this is my meaning.) He adds, 'To contend for it in 
theory and give it up in practice, is only to treat the 
authority of the Lord with contempt. Of this I hope he 
is not guilty." No, I assure Mr. Campbell and all others, 
of this, I am not guilty. I both contend for it in theory 
and practice. The only apparent difference is that I am 
not yet prepared to reject from fellowship all, not im- 
mersed for the remission of sins. If I understand him, he 
does. Should I reject all not immersed for the remission 
of sins, I should reject the greater part, even of the re- 
forming Baptists; for very few of them were baptized for 
the remission of sins. I should myself be rejected, for 
when I was immersed it was not with this understanding."^ 

In the same issue in reply to a letter from James Hen- 
shall, Stone states, 

^The Christian Messenger, Vol. II, No. 1, November, 1827. 
cy/ie Christian Messenger, Vol. IV, No. 12, December, 


"I confess if I am holy and pious now, I was so before 
I was immersed. If I was not so then, I am not now," — 

"My dear brother: Zeal for a favorite sentiment has 
carried many beyond the boundaries of truth, charity and 
forbearance. I have known many so zealous for trinity, 
that they have esteemed it the sum of all truth, and con- 
sidered all as destitute of faith, who did not receive it. I 
have seen others who seemed to view the opposite doc- 
trine, as the very touchstone of truth, and view all who de- 
nied it, as unbelievers in the way to hell. I have equal cer- 
tainty with you, that we are bound to believe everything 
God has revealed. But where is the man that can say he 
understands infallibly everything God has revealed; the 
Pope of Rome excepted? If all may err, is there not a pos- 
sibility that my brother may have erred also?" — "Oh for 
more of that mind that was in Jesus !"''' 
Again Stone says: 

"But to denounce all not immersed as lost, and to cut 
them off from salvation however holy and pious they may 
be, appears to dethrone charity and forbearance from our 
breast. If I err, let it be on the side of charity."^ 

Stone scorned making doctrinal beliefs a test of 
fellowship. Such a practice had resulted in the form- 
ulating of the creeds and the division of Christianity 
into warring sects. This baleful result and a study 
of the Scriptures convinced Stone that the basis of 
the Christian faith was not in opinions or doctrinal 
beliefs. Further, making such opinions tests of 
fellowship made Christianity an exclusive religion 
while Stone contended God loved all men and all 
men could respond to God's love in their own light 
and were free to serve God in their own way. A 
good passage expressing this view is this para- 
graph : 

"When Christ had preached that inimitable sermon on 
the Mount, he concluded with these words : 'Therefore, who- 
soever heareth these saying of mine, and dooeth them, I will 
liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a 
rock,' etc. If we hear and do what is contained in that 
sermon, we shall be saved from the ruin that shall befall 


^The Christian Messenger, Vol. IV, No .10, September, 


those who hear and obey not. It is worthy of remark that 
no mysterious point in divinity is here introduced as es- 
sentially necessary to be believed in, or to form the Chris- 
tian character. Not one of our essentials of orthodoxy, 
which have agitated the world for so many ages, and pro- 
duced such an abundant harvest of anger, hatred, division, 
and strife, is mentioned. Not a word of eternal decrees; 
of election and reprobation; of trinity; of the absolute di- 
vinity of the Son of God; of his satisfaction to law and 
justice: of justification by his imputed righteousness, etc. 
Had the belief of these doctrines been absolutely neces- 
sary to salvation, how could the Savior have omitted them 
in his sermon; and then say, 'whosoever heareth these say- 
ings of mine and doeth them, I will liken unto a wise man, 
who built his house upon a rock," etc. We are not dis- 
posed here to intimate that these doctrines are false; but 
that they are not essential to salvation. "9 

What a far cry is Stone's spirit from that of one 
of our present ministers who in a published letter to 
one of our journals recently wrote : 

Shall We Fellowship With Error? 
"It is pitiful to see men who once took a strong stand for 
the New Testament Church going over to the camp of the 
enemy under the guise of appeasement or co-operation. 
With a good conscience these men can fellowship with the 
Federal Council of Churches of Christ, which is so modern 
as to include among other denominations the Universalists 
and Unitarians. Think of it! We, the Disciples of Christ, 
linked up with this un-Scriptural organization! — Are we 
not unequally yoked together with unbelievers? Let's take 
our stand and come out from among them."i^ 

In the light of our present situation in the world 
and in the Disciples, it seems to me that Stone's ad- 
monition on the education of children ought to sink 
deeply into the hearts and minds of all our Dis- 
ciple brethren in these days. 

"Never let them hear you reproach any man, because he 
believes differently from you. This has been the prolific 
source of many evils. Children soon imbibe the spirit of 
bigotry and hatred. Let love, peace, and forbearance be 
the motto of your life."ii 

lor/is Christian Standard, January 16, 1943, p. 22. 
iir^e Christian Messenger, Vol. V, No. 1. 


'^Action of a Colored Christian'^ 

By Sam Freeman, Little Rock, Arkansas 

White men not completely blind sometimes gain 
faith and help through observing patient Christian 
colored men in action. Blind, white men who resent 
any threat to their rule, who fear any slight move- 
ment of the Negro even though the gain be the by- 
product of patriotic effort to help in our nation's de- 
fense, do not represent all the citizens of theSouth. 
Would you share with me an experience of the action 
of a gifted colored man whose life lends help, and 
sets a direction for many of us? 

Three months ago the heavy knock of a fist sum- 
moned the presence of this Negro chemistry pro- 
fessor. The authoritative superintendent wanted 
the answer to one question, the answer to be "Yes" 
or "No" : "Are you a Conscientious Objector, refus- 
ing to fight when your nation calls you?" With 
strong courage, and calm, quiet but persistent action 
the teacher explained his religious position as that 
of an "absolutist." He was careful to state that 
while convicted of the utter futility of war as an in- 
strument to settle difficulties he was offering himself 
under the military for non-combatant services, re- 
questing duties including the work of a stretcher- 
bearer on the field of battle. At the conclusion of an 
irritating and discourteous hearing the superinten- 
dent said: "Will you resign now? Or do you prefer 
to report to me at my office Monday afternoon at 
four for thirty days' notice?" He chose the second 
alternative. Through the help of white friends 
pressure was taken off the demogogic superintendent 
and the teacher remained. 

This man of wide experience not only holds a 
higher educational degree in his chosen field from 
one of our leading universities, but is also a fine mu- 
sician. Thereupon, he sought specific ways in which 
he might be of definite constructive value to the boys 


in uniform. Nine miles from Little Rock there is 
Camp Joseph T. Robinson. On his own initiative 
he went out to the camp; discovered excessive need 
for chapel organists; and volunteered for a work 
which under his faith would create personality ra- 
ther than destroy it. One evening each week he goes 
out for practice. At 7 :30 every Sunday morning he 
is present to play for two worship activities. The 
men were so appreciative of him as a person and his 
work, they tried to pay his travel expense. This 
friend of the boys in uniform thanked them for the 
generous thought, requesting the privilege of giving 
this little in the hour of our nation's great need. 

Two weeks ago a call came from a defense indus- 
try to become an inspector at a beginning salary of 
more than a thousand dollars per year over his pres- 
ent one. Since the day when he was so hastily fired 
many teachers of much lesser training and teaching 
effectiveness have gone to the jobs offering more 
adequate pay. The teaching load of this humble 
chemistry professor has doubled. Even the superin- 
tendent knows he cannot replace this man on his 
faculty. When the offer came the answer was ready : 
"Thank you for the offer; but I shall remain here. 
My people need me." 

Do you wonder that this colored Christian is one 
of my most influential friends ? 

Ways of Life or Ways of Thought? 

By Raymond Morgan, Clarksville, Arkansas 
The Philosophic Way of Life in America, by T. V. 

Smith, New York, F. S. Crofts and Co., 1943. 

Professor Smith wrote The Philosophic Way of 
Life back in 1929, when, as he says, he was some- 
what younger and the world not nearly so old. In 
this new edition two new chapters appear; one on 
the philosophy of Montague, and the other on "The 
Legislative Way of Life." It is this latter chapter 
that makes the book worth buying arid worth read- 


ing in these days. 

We really have two books here, or rather, one book 
and a pamphlet. In the first seven chapters the col- 
lege instructor is speaking. There is an occasional 
wise-crack here and there that makes the lecture 
sparkling and interesting, reminding any reader 
who has ever been in a class with T. V. of his bril- 
liant wit. There is an informality and a homey 
character about this man that can not be suc- 
cessfully imitated. 

Really, the first seven chapters (with one excep- 
tion) are not about way of life at all, but about ways 
of thinking. Certainly the chapter on Royce is NOT 
about the religious way of life, but about one type 
of religious philosophy which is anything but typi- 
cal today. It is surely Royce's metaphysics and not 
his religion that offends Professor Smith. To con- 
fuse one's statement of religious philosophy with 
one's religious way of life is to muddle things in a 
way not quite worthy of the author's ability. 

The one exception to what I have just said is the 
chapter on Dewey. Here life is not ignored because 
one cannot ignore life when he is writing about the 
philosophy of Dewey. It would seem to me that 
Dewey supplies Smith with whatever philosophical 
justification he may have for what he says in the 
chapter on the "Legislative Way of Life." 

When he turns to the writing of this last chapter 
he becomes a different personality. He casts off the 
school-teacher manner and throws himself into the 
strenuous atmosphere of the legislature and the po- 
litical campaign. No longer is he primarily con- 
cerned with ideas, but with ideas as instruments for 
securing a way of life. It is an understatement to 
observe that this is the best part of the book. He no 
longer needs wise-cracks to lighten the strain. Hu- 
mor he has, but the genuine humor of a man who 
understands and appreciates the littleness of great 
men and the bigness of little men. 

Professor Smith is aware that his book, as re- 


vised, lacks unity. He attempts to explain this by 
saying that the first six chapters outline the in- 
dividualistic philosophy a man may hold if the legis- 
lative way of life is a success, and which he may not 
hold if the legislative way of life is defeated by to- 
talitarianism. But there is no such line of demarca- 
tion between a man's individual and social philoso- 
phy. The student of religion recognizes similari- 
ties here with the discussions about the "social gos- 
pel." In politics, Mr. Smith goes to Washington 
with something very much like Dewey's social phi- 
losophy as his motivation. 

But our professor's feet are still on the ground, 
even when writing fluently about democratic ideals. 
He sees the difference between the ideals and the 
actualities of American life. The ideals, he says, 
represent our way of thought but not fully our way 
of life. "This disturbing leeway between what we 
love and the way we live is the penance we pay for 
being at once more than human and less than human 
— ^for being both skyborn and earthbound." And 
that is a great deal for the non-metaphysical Mr. 
Smith to say. We emphatically agree with him. 

One of the most interesting of his many interest- 
ing observations in this chapter is the one to the 
effect that we must remember that we are not God. 
"Whoever knows for certain that he's not God is 
glad to welcome the legislative aid of other men in 
determining what is politically right." That is what 
is wrong with the Nazis, he thinks; they have for- 
gotten Hitler is not God. 

I know that in other books, Professor Smith has 
stated his conception of the relation of the legislative 
functions to the executive and judicial functions of 
government. But I wish he had included a para- 
graph or two in this book to indicate what part the 
executive and judicial branches of our state and na- 
tional governments have to play, along with the Con- 
gress, to enable us to keep and improve the legisla- 
tive way of life. 


A Minister's Code of Ethics 

By F. E. Davison, South Bend, Indiana 

Believing that a Minister of the gospel should be 
no less committed to a code of ethics than those of 
other professions and trades I am resolved upon the 
following course of action. 


I will guard constantly my own personal conduct. 

I will be fair to my family and give to them the 
time and the consideration that they need. 

I will take time for recreation and relaxation so that 
physically I may be at my best. 

I may have difficulty living within my salary but 
I am resolved not to live beyond my salary and 
will never borrow money from members of my 
own congregation or leave unpaid debts behind 

I will strive to show evidences of growth in my pro- 
fession and through prayer and study reach out 
after greater knowledge of facts and deeper 
spiritual attainments. 

I will be accurate in my reports and treat all cor- 
respondence that comes to my desk with consid- 


I purpose to deal fairly with the church to which 
I minister. 

I will maintain a Christian attitude toward other 
members of the church staff and will not expect 
the impossible of the church custodian, or office 
secretary, or director of music or any other fellow 

I will never court special gratuities from the mem- 
bers of my congregation. 

In my pastoral calling I will have respect for every 
home I enter and at all times remember that I am 
a representative of the church. 

In my administrative and pastoral duties I will be 


impartial and allow none to truthfully say that 
I am only pastor of a certain group in the church. 

I will strive with evangelistic zeal to build up my 
church but I will never be guilty of the sin of 

In my preaching I will be fearless but considerate; 
progressive but not radical ; disturbing but not de- 


I will be honest and thoughtful in relation to my 
fellow ministers. 

I refuse to enter into unfair competition with an- 
other minister in order to secure a pulpit or any 
other place of honor. 

I will never receive any fees from any other minister 
or from a member of his family. 

I will refrain from speaking disparagingly about 
the work of either my predecessor or my sue. 

If I am called back to a former field for either a 
funeral or a wedding I will insist that the resident 
minister be invited to assist me in that service. 

I will show every courtesy possible to any prede- 
cessors of mine when he returns to the field and 
will also be thoughtful concerning any retired 
ministers who may be members of my congrega- 

I will not allow myself to gossip concerning other 


In my community I shall try to be a good citizen. 

I will never lower my moral ideals in order to ap- 
pear as **a hail fellow well met." 

I will strive to be the same man on the street or 
on the golf course that I am when I am in the 

Never will I allow myself to become a party to a 
funeral racket or a marriage racket. I will strive 
to treat all funeral directors with respect but 


will never enter into bargains with them concern- 
ing fees. I will never ask a county clerk or any- 
other official to pass out my cards to couples an- 
ticipating marriage. 
I will not loaf in the stores of my community and 
take the time of busy business men to talk with 
me about unimportant matters. 
I consider that my first duty to my community is 
to be a good minister of Christ Jesus but I will 
not give easy excuse to escape responsibilities that 
my community calls upon me to assume. 
Note : The writer of this "Code" is making a spe- 
cial study of the subject for his own religious body 
and he would therefore appreciate suggestions or 
additions and subtractions that should be made. 

Japanese Religions 

By William H. Erskine, Washington, D. C. 

Under the Thesis : The Ideology is different but 

The Psychology is the same. 

Shintoism: (past) 

1. Reverence to historical ideals and personalities. 

Ancestors, parents, heritage — Filial Piety. Na- 
tionalism, country and rulers and heroes also an 
inspiring faithful service to national edicts now. 

2. "Home-made religious cults" (59 of them). 
Tenri much like Christian Science. Other cults 

magnify Japanese saints who served their gener- 
Confucianism: (present) 

Ethic of mutual relationships. (American Human- 

How to live with and for others. 5 circles of 
duties — Duty of Emperor or ruler to parents, to 
brothers (elder and younger) , to friends, to master 
(work relationship). 
Buddhism: (facing death) 



A combination of the living Imperial Heaven 
where ancestors are, and 

The Indian idea of another chance, rebirth. 120 
denominations, sects, divisions. 

In contrast to Shintoism which is imageless, 
Buddhism has an altar full of images of saints, 
sages, saviours, with one chief Amida, a trinity of 
Peace, Power and Mercy. 

There is hope beyond the end of this life. 

Christianity does not have all the truth, nor was 
it the original discoverer of much religious truth. 
265 denominations. 

We are citizens of 3 worlds, a past, present and 
a future. 

The God of the Great I am, Is and Ever-shall-be, 
with a Bible telling of God's effort to help man dis- 
cover himself, and Savior like Jesus to show by 
life and death and resurrection that God is Love 
and that His love is at the heart of the Universe. 
God is the Eeternal, the Great CONTINUITY of 

When the Pastor's son, S. Allan Watson, was in- 
terviewing some Elders of a certain Christian 
Church last summer about a pastorate he asked an 
Elder what the membership of the Church was. The 
Elder replied, "Oh, about 300, I guess but about the 
usual half are members for burying purposes only." 
What kind of a Church membership do you have? — 
The Church Bell 

Edwin G. Michael, of Arkansas City, Kansas, 
writes : A woman who had been put out of a Men- 
nonite church "because she bobbed her hair" joined 
the Christian Church and wrote him afterward, 
"You people don't advertise enough the liberality of 
your views." Another woman, who had attended a 
Lutheran church of the Missouri Synod and was a 
student in a United Presbyterian College wrote him 


after reading some copies of the SCROLL and articles 
by C. C. Morrison and a tract by Isaac Errett : "I am 
returning your literature and thank you for it. If I 
Had known of this view years ago I might have 
saved myself a great deal of blundering. I tried to 
batter down my mind into accepting the entire views 
of some church and could not accept all the dogmas 
of any. It seems entirely too simple, the belief of 
your Disciples of Christ. If there were more pub- 
licity of your belief there might be fewer of my 'lost 
generation.' " 

J. J. VanBoskirk, Florence, Alabama, says: "De- 
lighted to see the Scroll defining the faith. I have 
a number of members who will read this issue (Jan- 
uary) with pleasure. If I had time, even without 
encouragement, I would tell you of a series of six 
sermons I preached on the history and thought of 
the Disciples . . . with the most notable results since 
I've been here. The House does no more important 
thing than showing the essentially liberal nature of 
our Movement. Tell the embryo preachers (who are 
doubtless good eggs) that there is not only thunder 
but lightning left in some of the old shibboleths 
which may seem to them hopelessly outworn." 

Mr. Dan B. Genung, Jr., of the Los Angeles Mis- 
sion writes of the Christmas celebration at the new 
home mission established in the Japanese 
Christian Mission in Los Angeles — "Our Christmas 
pageant was considerably more of a success than we 
hoped. Eighty-five children were present. Many 
parents — about thirty or forty — were also on hand. 
The program was good. You will be interested in 
the cast's composition. Mary was a Chinese girl; 
Joseph a Mexican ; the Innkeeper, partly white part- 
ly Mexican; The Three Shepherds were Mexican, 
Chinese and Korean; the Wise Men were a Negro 
and two Koreans ; the Angels were Mexican and Chi- 
nese and the reader a Caucasian." 


Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. DeGroot 

Chaplain Charles E. Dyer writes from Hawaii 
that the Disciple chaplains there occasionally get 
together for a luncheon, and adds, "far rather would 
I face the bullets of the Japs than your verse. En- 
closed is a bit of the root of all kinds of evil — may it 
do us both good." 

A new member, Lieut. Col. Nathaniel A. Jones, 
comes to us by way of a most interesting life ex- 
perience among our Church of Christ brethren. His 
keenly observing letter is worthy of full reproduc- 
tion, but I cite only this : "According to the strictest 
sect of our Campbellism, I was brought up as an 
Anti. In the neighborhood of the Gospel Advocate 
and in the holy environment of the Bible Belt, we 
were so strict and creedless that we lay awake nights 
fearing the visit of disloyal dreams." 

Another new member (and there have been a 
great many of late) is G. Stanius, whose pastor, V. 
W. Blair of Chicago, writes concerning him, "He's a 
great guy! I've known few better churchmen, and 
he's a typical engineer and scientist." 

One of the doubled benefits of receiving dues from 
H. L. Pickerill of Ann Arbor is that he encloses his 
program material for the work he and "Mrs. Pick" 
do with our students at the University of Michigan. 
1942 closed with a two months' adventure in Chris- 
tian cooperation of the Disciples Guild and the Con- 
gregational Student Fellowship. 

Hoke Dickinson, Portsmouth, 0., wrote that I 
needn't make it so evident how I felt about trying to 
get his dues by sending the statement to Hope D. 

Picking up a dues card reminder that he must 
have overlooked for many weeks, W. J. Lhamon of 
Columbia, Mo., was jolted into poetic expression by 
our quotation from the classics. Perhaps to pay the 
freight on this type of verse, he sent dues and 
wrote — 


Prometheus bound ! So says DeGroot. 

That's no concern to our Institute. 

That old pagan I do defy ; 

DeGroot himself I can't get by. 
When we sent out word about creating Life Mem- 
berships (at $25 per each), one of our long-time* 
payers of dues, Charles M. Sharpe, of McConnels- 
ville, N. Y., was moved to philosophize and to record 
the result of his cerebral processes in a fascinating 
letter, from which I extract this bit of relish — 

I am not in favor of the innovation sought to be 
introduced. It has a decided tendency to discount 
the worth of a simple and unpretentious Fiscality 
in contrast with an inflated and meretricious 
thing called Life-Membership. 0, this persistent 
vice of constant distinctions of Membership which 
has so plagued our Fellowship of Disciples ! Must 
it also introduce discord into the Fellowship of the 
Campbell Institute? Forbid it, St. Edward. When 
any fellow among us cleaves the stars and rises to 
the gates of pearl seeking entrance there, he will 
be met by no miserable interrogatory such as "are 
you a life member of the Campbell Institute?" No, 
it will be only the simple, "Brother, are you Fis- 

That's just a sample of the burden we have to bear 
in this office — getting along with such backward 
looking brethren. 

But to show that the ideal of Life Membership is 
not dead, nor even dormant, I cite you this noble 
rhythmic composition from Paul Rains — 
I gladly pay my U.S. taxes 
In confidence we'll beat the axis. 
To send you these two bucks is fun 
That I may get no other dun. 
Had I only twenty-five 
For life I'd keep this fun alive. 
I'd be in truth a Campbellite 
And watch our bigots put to flight. 


Vol. XL. APRIL, 1943 No. 8 

Without Controversy 

By E. S. Ames 

The Discip'les of Christ have been noted from 
their earliest days by the disposition and habit of 
controversy. Debates were a favorite method of 
arousing interest and recruiting members. Preach- 
ers, editors, and laymen employed this method until 
it seemed to be the only means of thinking about 
religious subjects. Without it a sermon was likely 
to be disappointing and the minister might be ac- 
cused of lacking courage and conviction. Slaying 
the sects showed prowess and soundness in the 
faith. The acceptable and effective evangelist had 
a ready arsenal of proof-texts with which he could 
smite the enemy and convince the unsaved. Bishop 
John Moore, of the Southern Methodist Church, and 
I entered Yale University at the same time. As we 
walked under the elms on the day we met, he asked 
me to what church I belonged. When I told him, he 
said, "0 yes, I know you Campbellites. I know all 
your thirteen sermons!" He explained that he was 
familiar with the sermons of Ben Franklin. They 
had not "converted" him but they had acquainted 
him with the argumentative temper of this brothei:- 
hood. He had an open mind and a receptive soul 
for great religious truth but he was not won away 
from his communion. He was accustomed to see and 
feel something that eluded the framework of the 
logic of the Disciples' controversial preaching and 
debating. Perhaps a more irenic and genial litera- 
ture might have given him a better and happier im- 
pression. It has often occurred to me that it is 
easier to count those who join than those who have 
been repelled. 


In the fifty years and more since that conversa- 
tion a great change has come over Disciple min- 
isters, and the change is due in part to the marked 
change in the intellectual climate and in the better 
social habits of religious people. No one debates in 
the old manner and the tendency is to identify tol- 
erance and breadth v^^ith sw^eetness and affability. 
People have become tired of religious controversy 
and are easily offended by the expression of strong 
convictions on points of difference. Preachers must 
be careful not to "offend" any one. The consequence 
is that people scarcely get a taste of the strong meat 
of the old doctrine any more and thousands of per- 
sons vi^ho join Disciple churches have little idea of 
anything more than immersion as an essential tenet. 
When union is presented it is often understood only 
in terms of federation or of community work or of 
union Lenten meetings. And the more union is 
limited to this kind the more puzzling the position 
of the Disciples becomes since they have been slow 
to recognize unimmersed people as Christians. The 
practice of federation has made headway among 
Disciples upon an inconsistency between their own 
terms of church membership and the wider fellow- 
ship required by federation. How there can be so 
many Disciples in prominent offices of the Federal 
Council of Churches is something of an enigma. Yet 
much pride is apparent over the fact. Unimmersed 
speakers are given top places on convention pro- 
grams. These facts are cited here just to show how 
the old differences are ignored and suppressed. The 
"movement" is drifting, the anchors are dragging, 
and the direction is lost in the cross currents of con- 
flicting winds of doctrine. Even the editorial trum- 
pet gives no certain sound. 

Fourteen Points 

The corrective for this state of affairs would be 
an affirmative and constructive statement of the 
following fourteen points of good Disciple teaching. 


These points may be presented and taught without 
debate or controversy. They ought to be familiar 
to every convert, to every man, woman, and child 
in the churches, and to the neighbors. It would be 
a refreshing surprise to many congregations to be 
taught these larger aspects of their own brother- 
hood, especially if taught as simple facts and with- 
out claims of superiority and without a patronizing 
air. Some facts concerning the Disciples of Christ 

1. Advocacy of Christian Union through fel- 
fowship for over a century. 

2. An American movement, beginning in Amer- 
ica and imbued with American democracy. 

3. Have no official theology, no creed, no eccle- 

4. Completely congregational. Local churches 

5. Memorial Communion service. Observed 
weekly. Open to all. 

6. Laymen's movement. Any member may ad- 
minister ordinances. 

7. Recognition of successive dispensations, Pa- 
triarchal, Mosaic, Christian. 

8. Reasonable interpretation of scriptures, at- 
tending to authorship, purpose, dates of aJll 

9. Neither trinitarian nor unitarian but hold- 
ing the Christlikeness of God. 

10. Biblical and common sense vocabularly for 
religious matters. 

11. Practical view of conversion as voluntary 
turning to good. 

12. Salvation as a continuing process of growth. 

13. Functional, experimental treatment of or- 
ganizations, forms, and doctrines. 

14. Renaissance spirit, free, humanitarian, scien- 


No one can claim that the Disciples have ade- 
quately lived up to these great principles but their 
influence may be seen even in conservative congre- 
gations and individuals. There is ground for hope 
that these fourteen points may gain new meaning 
as they are more widely taught and seriously con- 
sidered. In a hundred years there have been great 
discoveries and developments in biblical interpreta- 
tion, and the eighth principle above should enable 
the Disciples to profit by these achievements of 
scholarship. Nowhere is the impact of recent New 
Testament study more vital than with reference to 
the question of baptism by immersion. One hundred 
years ago it seemed that a truly catholic position 
concerning baptism justified the claims for immer-, 
sion especially for those who sought a thoroughly ■ 
biblical basis for Christian Union. Today it is evi- 
dent that people may be Christian without immer- 
sion. Therefore many churches among the Disciples 
have come to practice open membership while main- 
taining full loyalty to the teaching of the New Tes- 
tament. It is realized that the last verses of the « 
Gospel of Mark which have been so much quoted 
as authority for baptism are not authentic. They 
do not appear in the two oldest manuscripts. 
Authorities agree that the trinitarian formula in 
Matt. 28:19 dates that text centuries after the time 
of Jesus. It does not belong to his manner of speech. 

Anoher illustration of the acceptance of the re- 
sults of New Testament scholarship concerns the 
pattern of the early church. In his notable address 
at the San Antonio Convention in 1935, Dean Fred- 
erick D. Kershner, of the Butler School of Religion, 
speaking on. The Imperative of Christian Union, 
said the church in New Testament days did not have 
uniformity in worship, organization, or doctrine. 
Here are his significant words on doctrine : "In mat- 
ters of belief or theological doctrine, there was 
anything but agreement, on the part of the apos- 


tolic churches. The congregation at Jerusalem, being 
Jews, worshipped Jehovah as the one and only God. 
Jesus they accepted as the Messiah, or the Son of 
God; but this never, in the thinking of the Jew, 
meant any confusion with Jehovah. The Book of 
Acts makes it abundantly clear that this conception 
of the Deity was universal among the Jewish 
churches. It was not so, however, with the Gentiles. 
Not being Jews, they knew nothing about Jehovah, 
and when they became Christians, they accepted 
Jesus as the one and only God. For him they gave 
up their old pagan deities, but this did not include 
their conversion to Judaism or to the God of the 
Old Testament. In his illuminating treatment of 
the subject entitled, The God of the Early Chris- 
tians, Professor A. C. McGiffert, perhaps in his day, 
the dean of American church historians, has shown 
clearly that it was this confusion of deities on the 
part of the Jewish and gentile Christians which led 
ultimately to the formation of the Nicene doctrine 
of the Trinity. The Jewish Christians believed in 
one God, but that Deity was Jehovah. The Gentile 
Christians, likewise, believed in one God, but their 
Deity was Jesus. Ultimately, they clashed over the 
matter, and the Nicene ingenuity solved the problem 
by making Jesus God and Jehovah God, also, and 
yet by asserting that there was only one God after 
all. But in the days of the New Testament, the 
Trinitarian speculation was unknown." 

Other applications of these principles have been 
made in various fields. Missionary societies have 
been organized for work at home and abroad. 
Educational institutions have been established al- 
most too numerously. Orphanages, Old People's 
Homes, and schools for Negroes have been founded. 
One of the great reasons for promoting Union was 
to make Christianity more effective in its witness 
to the world and in healing the sores of suffering 


humanity. The Disciples have long maintained 
agencies for social action in the interest of world- 
peace, temperance, and social welfare. What is even 
more important is that their view of religion makes 
it consistent that they should do such things. They 
believe in the possibilities of developing the natural 
goodness of man by scientific means, by technology, 
education, art, and cooperation. They regard the 
good things attained by these means as real goods, 
as having spiritual value, and as essential to the 
fulfillment of Christian ideals. This is a Renais- 
sance attitude which gave a new evaluation of 
Nature and of Human Nature, and believed that 
man may learn gradually many of the secrets of 
Nature and utilize such knowledge for the highest 
good of mankind. It is an optimistic view of life 
but not a perfectionist view. It eventuates in 
meliorism rather than perfectionism, that is, in the 
conviction that life may be improved though not 
completely made divine. Such a conception does not 
deny the evils and sufferings, the sins and the follies 
of men, but it holds to unmeasured possibilities of 

Religious Values Are at the Same Time Other 
Kinds of Values 

This is another way of saying that there is no 
final separation between the sacred and the secular. 
Values are the objects of interest. Whatever inter- 
ests us takes on value. In the parable of the Last 
Judgment, food, clothing, drink, freedom, com- 
panionship, are given the highest possible religious 
significance, for upon the generous use of these 
salvation and eternal blessedness are conditioned. 
Education becomes religious when it is directed to 
the enlightenment and enrichment of the mind and 
heart. Politics becomes religious when utilized for 
the highest good of the community. There is no 


unique and separate religious value, apart from spe- 
cific, concrete values of the things by which men 
really live, — economic goods, kno\v^ledge, beauty, 
love, health, work, and play. Religious value is not 
one among the series of these enumerated values but 
is the experience of all of them in a system, an 
organization, a whole of related and interdependent 
interests or values. Religious value is like the body 
in relation to its parts. The body is not the hand 
or the eye, or the ear, or the foot. It is all of them 
together organically functioning for the whole life. 
Somethings are more important than others at 
given times and places, and even very humble 
things, like a cup of water or a cheering word, may 
now and then determine destiny. The simplest and 
most appealing embodiment of these religious values 
is to be found in the teaching of Jesus, in his par- 
ables, in his faith in human beings, and in his exam- 
ple of heroic, unselfish love. Whoever responds to 
these, in thought and deed, literally saves his life 
and helps towards the realization of a divine social 
order for all mankind. 

The dream which motivated the movement of the 
Disciples of Christ was born in a great new awak- 
ening of men's minds and hearts to the vast possi- 
bilities of a simple Christian faith for creating a 
better world of better men and women. The his- 
toric forces which stirred in that dream have not 
been sufficiently understood and set forth by the 
Disciples themselves. A few clear words reveal the 
vision and the task : the Sabbath was made for man 
and not man for the Sabbath; the letter killeth but 
the spirit giveth life; love is the fulfilling of the 
law and the prophets ; he t^at dwelleth in love dwell- 
eth in God and God in him. These sayings invite us 
not to textual controversy and logical demonstration 
but to deeper spiritual insight and to more conse- 
crated practical endeavor and fruitful faith. 


Seminaries and Great Preachers? 

By Seth W. Slaughter, Dean, Drake Bible College 

Does the average graduate of a modern seminary 
have a message that will stir his people to Christian 
activity? Has the day of the sermon with a strong 
emotional appeal passed? 

After watching scores of the graduates from our 
larger seminaries only partially succeed in the min- 
istry I had begun to wonder why. For the past six 
years I have been teaching preaching to seminary 
students and I am beginning to feel I know a little 
about the reasons for the too often mediocre record 
of the modern seminary graduate. 

Most of these men have come from rather con- 
servative background and have heard the gospel 
preached with a great deal of enthusiasm and a 
strong emotional appeal. They have become fa- 
miliar with certain words and phrases which sym- 
bolize religious faith to them. They think of the 
message of the gospel as expressed in these oft re- 
peated phrases. They have a deep emotional mem- 
ory which is associated with the use of these words. 
In fact to think of being religious is to think in 
terms of these familiar symbols. Their concept of 
religion is built upon ideas expressed in very defi- 
nite word symbols. 

These young men come into our colleges and take 
the courses in science with its new vocabulary and 
world concepts. For the most part they quickly 
agree to the things taught in these fields. They 
enter the seminary and begin their historical studies 
in the Old and New Testaments and related sub- 
jects. Here again for the most part they quickly 
adjust their thinking to the materials taught them 
in the classroom. It is at this time that I meet 
them in the class in preaching. Naturally they want 
to preach what they are learning. But to be honest 
can you call it preaching? 


I was taught that the sermon must have a defi- 
nite objective and that it ought to convince the 
hearers of the need and urgency for action. It 
should quicken the emotions as well as the reasoning 
faculties of the hearer, otherwise it may be only a 
good lecture. 

Time and again I have said to these classes fol- 
lowing a sermon, "Did he preach as though he 
meant what he said?" Many times I have had a 
student say, "It is good to learn the historical ap- 
proach to the Bible, but you can't preach it." 

These students have intellectually accepted the 
viewpoint which has been presented to them but 
they have not had time to become saturated with its 
imagery. They have not suffered and struggled and 
worshipped in terms of these newer God concepts. 
Their deep emotional religious experiences are still 
felt in terms of the old words and images of their 
childhood. Their preaching is rational and cold and 
lacking in the warm imagery of a vital human ex- 
perience which brings God into the every day life 
of our world. 

As I have worked with these fine young men I 
have become convinced that they need help in order 
to make this transition from the old to the new. 
My solution is very simj^le though not entirely easy 
to accomplish. I believe these students can be aided 
immensely by participating in actual worship serv- 
ices in which they express the great religious emo- 
tions of the human soul in terms of the concepts 
they have been intellectually accepting in their 
classroom work. This should include a sermon 
which expresses in the clearest manner the his- 
torical viewpoint but does it with conviction and 
power. Let them fed the new truth in terms of 
their finest attitudes. Unless we do this we are 
sending out most of these young men unprepared to 


Scores of them will flounder and fail ; others will 
only partially succeed. A small minority will strug- 
gle through to where they can preach with power 
and a beauty of expression that will be a credit to 
the ministry. It seems to me that we have expected 
the psychologically impossible of our young preach- 
ers. It is no small thing to change one's whole 
emotional framework of religious thought from one 
set of patterns to another. Just as it takes years 
frequently before one can think in a new language 
so it is difficult to feel the power of a great faith 
in terms of a new mental pattern of thought. One 
may make the change intellectually, but after all 
life expresses itself in the main in emotional terms. 
They must live with the new long enough to speak 
its language and feel in terms of its phrases. They 
must be able to express these sentiments and feel- 
ings so that others may feel them and be inspired 
to better living because of what they have felt. 

Tomorrow is going to call for great preaching. 
May our seminaries give our young preachers a 
chance to grow into the language of the new day 
through an actual religious experience that includes 
great preaching. The young men must feel it in 
great worship and must attempt to do it under wise 
guidance in the classroom and before their local 

This problem should pass as our whole culture 
comes to accept the historical viewpoint but we have 
not arrived at that point at this ime. Therefore our 
seminaries must take much more seriously the train- 
ing of the preaching phase of the ministry. 


That Heretic — L. L. Pinkerton 

By Frank N. Gardner, Lexington, Ky. 

Three men stood out among second generation 
Disciples for their progressive liberality. In a 
period of increasing dogmatism and literalism these 
three men battled, each in his own unique way, to 
save a movement founded in freedom from those 
who would make Christianity a bondage in chains. 
These three were Isaac Errett, Alexander Proctor 
and L. L. Pinkerton. To Isaac Errett must be given 
the greatest credit in preventing the Disciples from 
disintegrating into another "primitive restoration" 
sect. As E. E. Snoddy used to say — Isaac Errett 
saved the Disciples from sectarianism by keeping 
them "out in the middle of the stream" of the Chris- 
tian Movement. Alexander Proctor's influence was 
chiefly projected through his addresses and personal 
conferences. He wrote little — even his best friends 
did not expect answers to their letters. Yet Proc- 
tor's sane liberality influenced countless people who 
came under the power of his thought and per- 

The who was most widely known as a 
"heretic" to second generation "sound" men was 
L. L. Pinkerton (1812-1875). Pinkerton was an 
exceedingly versatile and brilliant man who during 
a life-span of a little over sixty years was a sur- 
geon, a minister, a teacher, an administrator, an 
evangelist, an editor and an ardent social and re- 
ligious liberal. He raised funds to maintain Bacon 
College in its infancy and founded the Kentucky 
Female Orphan School at Midway. He was a pro- 
fessor in Kentucky University at Harrodsburg and 
turned down offers of the presidencies of Hiram 
College and Eureka College. He was a zealous 
"union" man and organized several projects for 
helping the Freedmen. At one time he was denied 
membership in the Main Street Christian Church 


at Lexington because of his social and religious 
liberalism. Yet some years before he had served 
this church as its minister and under his leadership 
the congregation had erected a new building. 

No man of his day was so bitterly denounced and 
yet so fervently loved as was Pinkerton. Many of 
his opponents could not help but feel deep affection 
for this man though they often felt the lash of his 
irony and caustic wit. This affection was a result 
of the deep kindliness of Pinkerton which glowed 
brightly even in fiercest discussion. His courage 
never faltered although often he stood alone. It 
seems as if the curse of loneliness is often the man- 
tle of heretics. 

What were Pinkerton's heresies? All of them 
grew out of his sweeping rejection of the whole le- 
galistic view of religion and of the all but univer- 
sally accepted theory of revelation as a mechanical 
procedure of inerrant deliverance of facts and com- 
mands from God to men. In contrast, Pinkerton 
heavily stressed the spiritual and ethical compo- 
nents of the Christian faith. It is probably true that 
he was the first Disciple to challenge the prevalent 
notion that the important task of the church is to 
reproduce an authorized pattern of doctrine, ordi- 
nances, organization and worship. 

In the columns of the short-lived Independent 
Monthly of which he was co-editor with John Shack- 
leford appeared numerous articles by Pinkerton 
flatly denying the theories of plenary inspiration 
and Biblical infallibility. Other articles advocated 
a "presbyterian" form of church organization, 
"open" communion, and "open" membership. Con- 
stantly Pinkerton maintained that the important 
thing for a Christian was how he lived. Forms, 
ritual, and kindred matters were of secondary im- 
portance. His favorite passage of scripture and the 
one whose ideas dominated his life were: "Thou 
Shalt love the Lord thy -God with all thy mind, and 


soul, and strength; and the second is like unto it — 
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." 

Regarding some of his "heresies" it will be best 
to let Pinkerton speak for himself. So with this 
short introduction to the man, readers of The 
Scroll can perhaps whet their interest and appre- 
ciation in the man on the following quotations from 
his writings. 

In the Independent Monthly for October, 1869, 
writing of legalism in religion he says, "I under- 
stand a legalist to be one who resolves the whole 
system of salvation into a mere absolute law — not 
law administered in mercy by our heavenly Father, 
but law-blind, relentless, unyielding. To illustrate: 
I met a brother, a few weeks since, a man of in- 
telligence and a preacher of reputation, who de- 
clared to me that he believed all the unimmersed 
Methodists and Presbyterians, who had died, were 
in hell ; that the law of baptism for the remission of 
sins is absolute, and that God takes no account of 
ability, purpose, opportunity to know, — but that the 
ignorant slave, professing faith in Christ, yet living 
unimmersed, no matter how humble and faithful, 
dying, would go to hell. He said he believed Luther 
and Wesley had gone to the devil. He affirmed in 
a public discussion that no sinner could escape eter- 
nal punishment without uniting with the particular 
church known as the Disciple or Christian Church. 

"Now, this is legalism; and this technical, law- 
yer-like interpretation of the Scripture, which 
frames syllogisms, and claims for its conclusions the 
authority of revelation, we call a "legal method," 
which, instead of giving us light, blinds, confuses, 
fosters infidelity, and is, in some sense, an agency 
of the devil. 

"There is, however, an element of truth even in 
legalism which ought to be preserved — viz. : respect 
for God's ordinances; one false element in it is its 


lack of mercy when this respect dwells in the heart, 
but imperfectly manifests itself, owing to weakness 
or ignorance. There is another grievous evil in 
legalism; it tends continually to an outward, me- 
chanical conformity to the law, rather than to a 
loving service — respect for and confidence in the 
form of doctrine, rather than obedience from the 
heart of the form of doctrine. The whole history of 
the human race illustrates the tendency on the part 
of men to that pharasaism which tithes mint, anise, 
and cumin; which is scrupulously exact about the 
Sabbath day and all the outward forms of religion 
and neglects love, faith and judgment. Every sect 
has its votaries, who are very careful about the 
forms of the sect, and careless about moral duty. Is 
there no manifestation among us of this same hu- 
man tendency? 

"And if this tendency to rest in mere forms is 
human, — and who can doubt it? — how would it be 
likely to manifest itself among our brethren? Con- 
sidering the plea we have made for the restoration 
of the ordinances as they were in the early church, 
the special prominence we have given to baptism for 
the remission of sins, and the controversies into 
which we have been forced on the subject, — is it not 
probable that this tendency would manifest itself 
among us in attaching too great importance to the 
mere ouward ordinances of the Gospel, and too little 
to that preparation of heart and that love and prac- 
tice of truth which is so diflicult to man, and for 
which, in his religion, he continually seeks some 
substitute ? 

" 'But,' says one, 'Baptism and the Lord's supper 
are divine ordinances, and you will not compare at- 
tachment to these to the attachment which Catholics 
and Episcopalians cherish for their superstitious 
acts of will worship.' " 

"Yes, baptism and the Lord's supper are divine 


ordinances; but when they are perverted, and the 
soul rests in them rather than in the Redeemer, 
their Author, they become ordinances of woe and 

"If a man is particularly zealous about baptism, 
and does not care anything about truth and purity 
— no matter what his professions — we are apt to 
believe that baptism is the whole of his religion. 
Now, baptism in itself, without faith in Christ, is 
of no more value to the soul than abstaining from 
meat on Friday. The Lord's supper, without self- 
examination and consecration to God, is of no more 
service to a living man than high mass is to the 
Catholic dead. 

"Of all the dangers that threaten us as a religious 
people, this legalism and formalism is the greatest. 
We are doubtless in danger of being corrupted by 
the fashion of this world, and by the spirit of ex- 
pediency; but our greatest danger, in my judgment, 
is that semi-idolatrous formalism, by which the 
appointments of God to bring us nearer to himself, 
are turned, by our own folly, into idols which we 
serve and in which we trust, rather than in the 
Lord our Maker, thus serving the creature more 
than the Creator, who is God over all blessed 

In a series of articles in the Christian Standard 
of 1873 he raised the whole question of "open" 
membership. Isaac Errett vigorously replied, tak- 
ing the opposite side. Pinkerton entitled his series 
of articles. No Immersion — No Membership in a 
Church of the Reformation. The following passage 
from the issue of June 7th will indicate Pinkerton's 
general line of thought: 

"The right of private judgment, in matters of 
conscience, is the famed and fundamental principle 
of Protestantism; and yet most, if not all Christian 
societies, meet you at the door of their communions 
with a catechism or a creed, or some formula of 


doctrine, or some rite or ceremony which you are 
required to accept, or to which you are required to 
submit as a condition of entering. I confess myself 
unable to perceive any essential difference between 
the Catholic and the Protestant in this matter of 
private or individual judgment. If there is any con- 
siderable difference the Catholic has the best of it. 
He tells you squarely that you cannot enter into the 
communion of the Catholic Church, except on terms 
which the Church prescribes. He makes no pretense 
of awarding to anyone the right to think for himself 
in matters of religion. The Protestant does profess 
to allow this right, but does it not. 

"The creed of the Reformation, it is said, is 'Jesus 
of Nazareth is the Son of God.' Brief, this, infinitely 
comprehensive; transcendently sublime; more prec- 
ious than all the treasures of uninspired literature 
and philosophy. But, besides that the Reformation 
allows considerable latitude in the interpretation 
of the most fundamental truth, no one can gain 
admission into a church of the reformation by sim- 
ply declaring his belief in that truth, and signifying 
his desire to become Christ's disciple. It is not, 
therefore, the creed of the Reformation. Could 
Thomas Campbell, if living, and in all respects such 
as he was when in 1809 he wrote his celebrated 
"Declaration" — a document embodying "the prin- 
ciples of the Reformation" — could he, I ask, obtain 
membership in any church of the Reformation with- 
out submitting to immersion as a condition prec- 
edent? I presume not. Could Barton W. Stone, if 
here in Lexington, and such as he was when, in 
1801, he "preached Jesus" with overwhelming 
power, and achieved the greatest evangelical suc- 
cess of his noble and beautiful life — could he find 
a home in one of our churches on a declaration of 
his faith in Christ, and of his purpose to obey him 
in all things according to the measure of grace that 
might be given to him? Certainly not. He would be 


required to accept our interpretation of one Greek 
word, at least, and to act on that interpretation be- 
fore "the right hand of fellowship" would be ex- 
tended to him. This being the case, it appears to 
me that the real efficacious creed of the Reforma- 
tion will be found to consist of two propositions : 

"1. Immersion only in baptism; and 2. No one 
ought to be received into a church of Christ without 
immersion. Let it be borne in mind that there are 
in all rural districts of our land, in all villages and 
towns, notably in all our large cities, many men and 
still more women, who so believe in Jesus and so 
love him that they would die for him if challenged 
to do so, but who have never been immersed. They 
have been, for years, pouring out to Christ all the 
affluence of hallowed love, and performing works of 
charity and mercy for his name's sake ; and yet, we 
judge them unfit for our fellowship in the Kingdom 
of God, only because they have not been taught as 
ive have been, the meaning of baptidzo. Nor is this 
the worst feature of the case, nor the most decisive 
proof that I have fairly stated the distincive creed 
of the Reformation, in the two foregoing numbered 
propositions. For, I am constrained to add, that 
while we would decline to receive to church mem- 
bership, many of the most godly persons now living 
on earth, we do receive to our communion in the 
church, and retain in our communion, many sad 
specimens of depraved humanity. The reason, and 
the only reason for declining the first is, that they 
have not been immersed; and the only reason why 
we receive the second, so far as I can perceive, is 
that they have been. Why make this difference be- 
tween pious, unimmersed people, and Christless im- 
mersed ones, if immersion is not really the bond of 
union? I confess myself wholly unable to see why." 

Pinkerton's insistence upon ethical living as of 
greatest importance is shown by this paragraph 


taken from the Independent Monthly of August, 

"How easy it is to 'contend earnestly for the faith 
once delivered to the saints,' and how cheap, too, 
compared with the constant and heroic practice of 
the things that are just, true and honest, and lovely, 
and of good report. And is it not true that the 
most effective way to contend for the faith is to 
evince its power over our own lives, in the repres- 
sion of pride, and covetousness, and lust, and every 
form of selfishness? Some of the meanest men I 
have ever known were very zealous for something 
they called "the truth," which, when you found it, 
consisted of sundry ill-digested conceits about re- 
ligion. Some of the loveliest characters I have ever 
met, believed in God, and in Jesus; in the beauty 
and necessity of a righteous life, and in a future 
rest for the people of God; and in very little 

To Pinkerton the Christian life was a glorious 
and courageous adventure meant for men who were 
children of God. It was a noble and high venture on 
which men were guided by the stars as they set 
their faces toward the future. Considering the 
period in which the following passage was written 
(Christian Standard, 1873) I believe that the final 
paragraph is one of the noblest and most inspiring 
produced by any of our pioneer "fathers in the 

"There are men in almost every church — ^fewer of 
them now than twenty years ago — who cannot rest 
if everything, great or small, is not adjusted with 
exactness to their individual notions of propriety. 
They would sinash a church on the matter of dif- 
ference between 'breaking the loaf in the morning 
or in the evening ; or about the propriety of singing 
or not singing during the contribution. This is as if 
a man should set fire to his dwelling and burn up 
property, and wife, and children together, in order 


to get rid of a rat's nest, and after all, perhaps the 
rat's nest was merely supposititious. The New Tes- 
tament is not a code of cast-iron laws for trembling 
slaves; but a rule of life for loving children — not a 
hole through a granite rock, through which fools 
and Pharisees are required to crawl on all fours, but 
the 'King's highway,' on which rational beings with 
free spirits, and with their heads toward the stars, 
are called to walk." 

Missionary Training 

By Raymond M. Hudson, Washington, D. C. 

There is a cry from one end of the world to the 
other to now prepare for peace. Back in 1939 the 
Foreign Mission Committees were urged to send a 
large corps of missionaries to China to be with the 
Chinese and Japanese soldiers in the camps, but the 
pleas were rejected for the reason as stated that if 
new missionaries could be gathered together to go 
that after their arrival in the field they would re- 
quire two years of training in the language, history, 
culture, and customs of the land. 

That being true, now is the opportune time to 
gather a large corps of young ministers and Chris- 
tian doctors and give them here at home such two 
years training in the languages of China, Japan, 
Korea, India, and other lands. 

Who can do such teaching as well as the returned 
missionaries from those countries? Dr. Price says 
approximately 687 Protestant Missionaries returned 
last August on the S. S. Grisholm. The burden is 
on the church to convince Chaing and the Chinese 
that we are truly Christian brothers anxious to help 
in peace as well as in war, and thus to prevent any 
feeling on their part that we have failed them with 
-war supplies. 

If a Christian peace, free from hate, is to be had, 
we Christians will need the Generalissimo, the 
greatest true and active Christian statesman of the 


world, to cope with that other great statesman — 
Stalin, at the peace table. 

Is there any better way to convince the Christians 
in China and Japan and other lands that we are 
Christian brothers, free from hate, and anxious to 
help them when the war is over than by starting the 
training of an army of missionaries now? 

Can the returned missionaries do any better serv- 
ice than recruiting and training new missionaries 
by organizing classes and courses in our various 
Theological Seminaries, universities and medical 
schools ? 

Should not each Seminary have one or more of 
their professors take a course under these returned 
missionaries in the language, history, culture and 
customs of the various heathen nations, and then 
those professors carry on such training perma- 
nently in their institutions? 

This will enable those permanent members of the 
Foreign Boards and Committees who from time to 
time visit the foreign fields to become sufficiently 
versed in the various languages so that they may 
directly converse with and address the native 
preachers and people without the aid of an inter- 
preter. This to my mind is a matter of vast im- 
portance to the missionary cause for hearing and 
understanding a preacher is far more effective than 
just hearing him and then waiting for another to 
tell you what he said. 

The faculty, all of whom were missionaries, of 
the California College in China in Peiping, China, 
which taught missionaries, government officials, and 
representatives of the International Corporations 
the language, culture, history and customs of China, 
have been brought to the University of California, 
and such a school established there. 

This is not enough for a country as large as the 
United States. There should be such a course in 


every Theological Seminary in the land. There are 
enough returned missionaries to do this. Such 
courses will also attract many officials and business 
men who expect to go to these foreign lands after 
the war, and the spiritual atmosphere of the semi- 
naries will make a deep impression on the lives and 
characters of these men, and lead them to be sym- 
pathetic and helpful to the missionaries and the 
cause of Christ wherever they go. 

At the beginning of the war there was not one 
person in the United States capable of teaching 
Malay, only one capable of teaching Thia or Siam- 
ese. Yale with the aid of the American Council of 
Learned Societies has been enabled to establish a 
course in Malay. The Indiana University has been 
able to establish a course in Turkish. 

Japanese was another tongue lameness. One year 
before Pearl Harbor, in all American educational 
institutions, only about 50 students were studying 
Japanese seriously. Before we got into war, the 
Japanese study had been stepped up at the request 
of the combat services. But students of Japanese, 
even after Pearl Harbor, numbered only hundreds, 
so far as educational files show. 

In Chinese and Arabic, Americans were better 
prepared particularly in Mandarin Chinese, the 
national language. Lacking, however, were experts 
in the Chinese dialects. That is a serious handicap, 
because these dialects are mostly used in Japanese 
propaganda broadcasts to the Chinese. 

One Arabic language, Moroccan, in which Ameri- 
cans were almost completely unversed, now is being 
taught at the University of Pennsylvania. The ver- 
naculars of India, such as Bengali, Punjabi and 
Hindustani, are as little known as Malay and Thai. 
So, too, are most of the Balkan languages, the 
tongues spoken around Dakar, Korean, and most 
all the languages of Central Asia. 

One large school in Ohio has called for a returned 


missionary from the Far East to teach Interna- 
tional Economics. In the Presbyterian of the South 
of October 21, 1942, this item appeared: 

"The number of the theological students in 
Sweden has enormously increased in the last 20 
years. The Church is actually embarrassed by a 
plethora of ministers." 

This seems that here is a fine source of supply 
for after-war missionaries, and that during the war 
some effort should be made to persuade these Swed- 
ish ministers to become missionaries and to have 
our returned missionaries educate them in the lan- 
guage, culture, history and customs of the different 
missionary fields. This could be done by sending 
some of our returned missionaries to Sweden to 
recruit and to educate. The church should use every 
effort to induce all Chaplains and Christian physi- 
cians now serving in foreign lands who are becom- 
ing acquainted with their language and customs to 
remain in such lands, or return there after the war 
as missionaries. 

American soldiers "face the greatest task of pio- 
neering that any Army has ever undertaken in re- 
habilitating, as well as liberating, the conquered 
peoples of the world," says Lt. Gen. Hugh A. Drum, 
commanding general of the Eastern Defense Com- 
mand of the 1st Army, and he further declares, "He 
will assist in establishing civilized government, he 
will participate in efforts to relieve suffering." Thus 
these Chaplains and Doctors will have established 
warm friendships and fine contacts not only with 
the rulers but also with the common people who 
have always been so dear to Christ, all of which 
will be of great value to them as permanent mis- 

All Seminaries and Foreign Mission Boards 
should thoroughly, carefully and prayerfully study 
these suggestions in the light of the present and 
future world situation. 


Religion And Language 

By John 0. Pyle, Chicago 
We live, some of us, so completely in what phil- 
osophers call The Universe of Discourse, that we 
seldom stop to consider how small and personal said 
universe is. If we inventory the instruments of all 
discourse, that is, of all language, the list shows 
only sounds, gestures, and marks on some material 
substance. These instruments are environmental 
and subject to observation by anybody and every- 
body, but as such, they are not important. Their 
importance is the fact that they are symbols, — sym- 
bols of something outside and beyond themselves. 
The symbolization is intended by the author of the 
language, but their effectiveness resides solely in 
the responses of the recipient mind-body that hears 
or sees the symbols. These responses are auton- 
omous, partly inherited, partly learned, in some part 
a new creation. They can be, and usually are 
wholly subjective, free of any action whatever 
toward an environment, save attention to the sym- 
bols. They consist of emotions, memories, imagin- 
ings, interpretive ideas, and some tendency toward 
action. The tendency toward action belongs to 
factors in the recipient content that bear reference 
to an environment other than the sounds, gestures, 
and marks, but these factors are representative 
only. They are the objective ingredients of sense 
perception that was real in some past time. The 
reality attributed to them in present time, or in 
some future time is wholly conjectural. 

In its origin, as a biological factor of human or- 
ganisms, language, undoubtedly, was a communica- 
tion of action from one aspect of environment to 
another. The subjective responses of the recipient 
were only a means to an end. They were stimulated 
by the symbols, but their meanings involved direct 
action toward that aspect of environment which the 


symbols meant. In this immediate action the mean- 
ings were put to a test. In our learned, sophisti- 
cated experience, the recipient need not, and as a 
rule does not, put the representative factors of 
meaning to a test in present time. There are pa51ia- 
tive effects in the satisfactions that accompany the 
emotions and interpretive ideas, and with the satis- 
factions the recipient rests content. 

This derived function of language is legitimate 
and eminently worthwhile. It has made thinking 
possible. It has made literature possible. It gives 
us the enjoyment and the knowledge we get from 
reading. It is the means and the source of conversa- 
tion. It facilitates platform discourse. It embodies 
the statement of laws. It is the carrier of the har- 
mony and pleasantness of music. In the very suc- 
cess of these derived effects of language resides a 
grievous fault, and a tendency to direct evil. When 
the rdatedness to objective aspects of experience 
is not put to the test of sense-perception in present 
time, the recipient response carries no guarantee of 
truth, no guard against erroneous interpretation. 

Over indulgence in the derived effects of lan- 
guage, and the resulting loss of any close connection 
with actual environment in present time, has con- 
stituted a sort of criminal negligence on the part 
of religious spokesmen and religious institutions. 
Congregations assemble inside church buildings on 
Sundays, and revel in song and liturgy. The per- 
sonal participation is epidermical, but each indi- 
vidual response is purely subjective. None knows 
what occupies the attention of another. The lan- 
guage of song and liturgy is so familiar from repe- 
tition that objective reference is lost. This loss is 
facilitated and enhanced by the ancient settings of 
the language. The loss is still further enhanced by 
a dogmatic attribution of meanings to some future 
time in which the present ecstasy shall be perpetual. 
So replete are the pulpit readings with familiar but 


ancient scriptures, and so closely do sermon texts 
and themes ally themselves with this literature, that 
even sermons affect the listeners much as do the 
songs. The total result is unrelatedness to present 
time. The participants re-enter the w^orld outside 
whence their living is derived, and for the other six 
days of the week forget their Sunday's experience. 

The Sunday experiences were purely personal, 
wholly subjctive. None interfered with the other. 
Numbers added to the fervor of the satisfactions. In 
the worild outside, where each must live and earn 
his subsistence, life is competitive. The uniqueness 
of every object forces itself upon us. The food that 
I eat, you cannot eat, and the food that you eat, I 
cannot eat. Of the food we share, each can have 
but a fraction of what both have. The apparel I 
wear can not at the same time clothe you. If I 
alone have a house while you have none, and I ex- 
clude you from that house, you are homeless and 
shelterless. If I am sick and in distress, and you 
have not sympathy and love, life is a misery and 
beyond endurance. Such is the world whence the 
Sunday congregation assembled, and to this world 
each member returns, with little or no enlighten- 
ment on how to meet its baffling problems humanely 
and successfully. Churches have held themselves 
aloof from the world's grim problems. They have 
regarded themselves as in the world, but not of it. 
This is a false and dangerous doctrine. 

Religion by inherited function, and by acquired 
powers in the evolution of human life and culture, 
assumes the duty and privilege of evaluating all 
human conduct. It assumes freedom of conscience, 
of judgment, of expression. This status is guaran- 
teed in our own land by the First Amendment to 
the American Constitution. Religious spokesmen 
and religious institutions can not escape the re- 
sponsibilities thus vested in them. Yet they are 
guilty of the charge of attempting to do just that. 


This charge is supported by their extreme conserv- 
atism. They have clung to ancient literature, to 
well worn proverbs and aphorisms, to meaningless 
forms of language. They have done this while every 
member of their congragations has been compelled, 
by the very nature of the world in which he lives, 
not only to learn well the particular specialty by 
which he gains his subsistence, but must keep ever 
on the alert that the knowledge and relationships by 
which he implements his daily life, are really a part 
of the living present in which all his fellow beings 
are equally knowing and alert. 

Human organisms, as bodies in an actual world, 
live only in present time, where all existence is; 
but the individual mind, through memory, imagina- 
tion, and constructive ideation, looks backward into 
the past, and forward into the future. There are 
factors in this purely personal content that con- 
tinually represent an environment by pointing to 
definite aspects of this environment. These refer- 
ents are ingredients of the special patterns in which 
they were first experienced. Their authenticity, 
therefore, can belong only in a past. Referred to a 
future time, or even to the present, except when 
checked by sense perception, they are speculative 
only. The accuracy, therefore, of their' pointing in 
the present time derives its probability from the 
recentness of the past in which they figure as in- 
gredients of actual experience. There is no conflict 
between the purdy subjective content of my mind 
and the purely subjective content of your mind. The 
items pf these contents are plural, — yours and mine. 
Conflict arises only in action, which involves the 
environment. Here every item is unique. No act 
involving these items can be indifferent. Your act 
affects me; my act affects you; and our combined 
action affects each other, and both of us, and that 
total which includes us and the environment. It 
would be a righteous experiment for churches to 


try out songs that use themes from modern litera- 
ture and life, and for ministers to read in the pulpit 
from this same literature. For ministers to speak 
from the pulpit in language that clearly and unmis- 
takably refers to that world whence came the mem- 
bers of their congregations ; in language that shows 
a profound acquaintance with the natural and social 
laws of that world ; in language that reflects knowl- 
edge and a determination comparable to that which 
every member must have when he or she re-enters 
that world. In song and liturgy, churches provide 
good anesthesia; let them now through preaching, 
and in aU ways possible, develop a successful ther- 
apy and enlightened hygiene. The Christian world 
was never more afflicted, nor ran a higher tem- 

Books of Substance 

By W. Barnett Blakemore, Jr. 

Here are some books of substance which every 
member of the family will enjoy. They cover the 
field of art with the exception of literature which 
most ministers cultivate through good anthologies 
and book clubs, we trust. The other fields of art 
should also be represented in a minister's library, 
for, next to religion, the arts have been the chief 
channel for the expression of the greatest human 
aspirations. A minister who is unacquainted with 
art has not delved deep into the human soul. 

For an introduction to the whole field and its 
long history, no relatively inexpensive work matches 
Miss Helen Gardner's Art Through the Ages. Har- 
court Brace and Company publish it, a revised edi- 
tion of 795 pp. having appeared in 1936. The book, 
which costs $4, is profusely illustrated. While it is 
in one sense a reference work, it nonetheless pro- 
vides an adequate introduction to the history of art 
for the non-technical reader. 


Music has always been intimately bound up with 
religion, and religion never reaches its highest ex- 
pressions without the aid of music. Yet too many 
ministers know next to nothing about it. It is not 
necessary to be yourself a musician to have some 
degree of critical judgment. Two years ago W. W. 
Norton & Company published Music in Western 
Civilization by the Columbia University professor, 
P. H. Lang. This book of 1100 pages costs only $5. 
It is without peer in its description of the develop- 
ment of music and its instruments through the ages. 

One more work we mention, an expensive book, 
but one that is virtually worth its weight in gold. 
The Enjoyment of Art in America, written by Re- 
gina Schoolman and C. E, Slatkin, and published 
by J. B. Lippincott Company, costs $10. But its 800 
pages and 740 large-sized illustrations will be a 
revelation to most Americans. Thirty years ago the 
art collections of America were scanty and incon- 
sequential. But that situation has changed radically. 
Taken as a whole, the American art galleries today 
represent an enormous aggregation of masterpieces 
within our own land. But we have remained un- 
aware of this fact for not until The Enjoyfnent of 
Art in America appeared was there a book which 
surveyed the whole field of American holdings. Are 
you passing through St. Louis? Did you know that 
its Art Gallery has the greatst collection in the 
world of 19th century American painting and of 
American colonial rooms? In Chicago do you linger 
to see the magnificent collection of medieval mas- 
terpieces and of modern French painting in the Art 
Institute, and the unparalleled collection of Chinese 
jade at the Field Museum? In Cleveland do you 
stop off to see the deeply religious and stirring 
"Death on a Pale Horse" by Ryder? You probably 
are aware of Gainsborough's "Blue Boy" in the 
Huntington Art Galleries of Pasadena, but did you 
know that Detroit harbors a significant number of 


masterpieces by Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, 
von Ruysdael and Peter Breughel? 

Americans, in times of peace, are great tourists 
in their own country. We have travelled about 
America with three major objectives, in addition 
to recreation. We have gone to see the magnificent 
scenery, the great cities and to recapture our his- 
tory by visiting our national shrines. The Enjoy- 
ment of Art in America now makes it evident that 
in travelling back and forth across the face of our 
land we can also give ourselves a truly comprehen- 
sive education in art. 

It would require at least two books to survey the 
substance of science. The history of science is one 
subject; the present state of scientific knowledge is 
another. We have no recommendations to make 
about the latter area. There are many popularly 
written works which survey the new technological 
world in which we live. But works on the history 
of science are more rare and a really good one is 
unique. This unique book is A Short History of 
Science by Charles Singer, published in 1941, by 
Oxford University through the Clarendon Press. 
Its rare charm is that the history of science is re- 
ported against the social background in which it 

Some of the relationships between religion and 
science are pointed out. Singer places a heavy 
charge against Augustine. 

The story is told in great detail, yet with a charm 
that keeps you reading. For Singer is wisely critical 
of the limitations of science. For him, science is it- 
self in evolution, and as it moves forward there may 
emerge within it patterns of value, a possibility 
scorned by the scientists of the last century. Here 
is a book in which science is not treated as an inde- 
pendent something apart, but as a most important 
stage in the evolution of human thought. 


My Pet Peeve 

By Ray Chas. Jarman, Huntington Park, Calif. 

I welcome the opportunity to tell you what is 
rather my "pet" irritation! Never does a person 
come forward in my church to make the "good con- 
fession" that I am not filled with a set of painful 
conflicts. As a church we proudly advertise the idea 
that we require no binding theological or dog- 
matically twisting credal statements for admission 
into our fellowship. Our "Confession of faith" is 
the simple pledge, "I believe that Jesus is the Christ, 
the Son of the Living God." 

Ask any hundred ministers of our church to 
define that question and you will have material 
enough for days of theological tub thumping. And 
when they have finished the wind will not have 
blown away all the chaff. Indeed, you will find your- 
self involved in more blinding confusion than ever. 
If we, ourselves, do not know the answer to that 
question, how can we expect that group of twelve- 
year-olds who respond so blithely to the invitation 
at Easter and Christmas to understand its meaning. 
To them it is simply something the preacher rattles 
off and they say "Yes" to. Hundreds of adults who 
join the church by "primary obedience" comprehend 
it no better than the children. By saying "Yes" they 
have made the pastor and his people happy, they 
have received the expressed approval of a group 
of enthusiasts, so why ask them embarrassing ques- 
tions about it? 

We boast that we do not catechize our converts, 
but we certainly give them a heavy morsel to digest 
in that confession. Why don't we rather ask the 
applicant something about his sense of responsibil- 
ity to his fellow man? For my part I should rather 
know what a man feels about "Good will toward 
men." I should like to hear a man confess that 
he believes in God and that, as believers in God, we 


have learned somewhat of the truth about man, 
about the world, and about the ultimate destiny of 
us all. 

Another thing that disturbs me! After taking 
that solemn confession, the very next day we send 
a letter asking for financial support and services 
that were not mentioned in the confession. Perhaps 
the individual did not know that included in his con- 
fession that "Jesus is the Christ" is a pledge to 
make ample contribution to the preacher's salary, 
the upkeep of the church and all its denominational 
agencies! For if he does not contribute there are 
hosts of people in the church who will let him know 
by attitude or word of mouth that they do not be- 
lieve he meant what he said when he confessed that 
"Jesus is the Christ." 

Would it not be better if we changed the wording 
of that confession? I am not the person to formu- 
late the precise wording, but I can make a few 
suggestions. Couldn't we say, "Do you believe that 
the way of Jesus Christ is the way toward personal 
salvation and helpful relationships with God?" That 
would set the mind on the thing that we are sup- 
posed to subscribe to, and it would give God his 
rightful place in that personal avowal. Or, we 
might say, "Do you accept the teachings of Jesus 
Christ as the finest expression we know for godly 
living?" I should like to hear what others have to 
say on this subject. 

In the past few years we have shown up the 
baptism complex for what it is. All through our 
land, even out here in California, our churches are 
practicing "open membership." I am amazed at 
some of the preachers, whom I have considered the 
most conservative, who come to me privately and 
say, "My church does not know it, but when a 
prospective member who comes from another fellow- 
ship presents himself and does not desire immersion 
I just drop the question and let him come in." 


Financial Secretary's Page 


It's amazing! I quote: "Enclosed find one dollar. 
Each day for the next three days you will receive 
a letter containing a one dollar bill. The four dollars 
is sent this way for the purpose of giving you the 
joy of finding money in each letter." Signed, 
Thurman Morgan, Houston, Texas. It must be the 
Easter spirit ! On the other hand, with the increase 
of academic courses and weighty tomes on counsel- 
ing the semi-insane, perhaps some of the brethren 
are fearful that financial worries threaten my emo- 
tional stability. 

Wilbur Wallace of Tallahassee, Fla., has another 
interpretation of what is happening to ye Financial 
Secretary. He says, "the past year on the Drake 
faculty has surely lifted your standards, especially 
from a cultural and olfactory viewpoint. Prome- 
theus Bound is certainly quite a climb from a 'Dead 
Horse.' And for fear you may again degenerate to 
your former level, I am enclosing my dues." 

The Hon. Roscoe R. Hill, formerly chief of the 
Classification division of the National Archives, and 
now with the Department of State, Washington, 
D. C, sends an autographed copy of his recent pub- 
lication, U. S. Marines in Nicaragua, along with 
chit-chat about Discipledom. Other authors will 
please take note. 

Abner G. Webb of Cleveland Heights, 0., says 
that our threat to resort to the locomotor ataxia 
school of blank verse is "beyond my Hiram 1890 
intellectual comprehension," and adds, "I received 
your threat as to non-payment of dues. As this is a 
class organization and run by the interests" he is 
not going to put $25 in for life membership, but 
rather send merely $2 each year and control things 
that way as much as he can. 


Vol. XL. MAY, 1943 No. 9 

Board of Higher Education 

Bij E. S. Ames 

The annual meeting of the Board indicated a live 
and vital policy under the leadership of Dr. John L. 
Davis. It was evident from reports and discussions 
that this is a crucial time for all Disciple Colleges and 
Seminaries and Educational Foundations. The War 
has brought acute problems in lowering attendance 
and tuition income, but it has brought temporary 
compensations in pay from the government for 
housing and training soldiers and sailors. But the 
question of post-war prospects is very important 
here as in all phases of life. 

The Board realizes that it must bring the subject 
of higher education into closer relation to the 
churches and to all their work. One very practical 
matter considered is that of the "allocation" of 
territory to the various institutions. It was agreed 
that each school should have responsibility for keep- 
ing churches in its area informed as to the import- 
ance and opportunities of church-related colleges for 
advancing the cause of religion through education 
and the cause of education through religion. One 
purpose of this extension of information and inter- 
est is to increase the financial support of the institu- 
tions belonging to the brotherhood. 

An interesting development in the discussion was 
the recognition that the real appeal to the churches 
is in terms of the importance of ministerial training. 
Even the schools which do not have graduate di- 
vinity schools emphasize the contributions they have 
made to supplying ministers. Two facts grow more 
evident every year in the appeal of the Board to the 


churches. One is that, however much the institu- 
tions themselves distinguish between the college and 
the Bible College, the real appeal of the college to 
church people is the fact that it includes the training 
of ministers. The other fact is the increasing dif- 
ficulty of the colleges which are not conspicuous for 
programs or departments which equip ministers. 

The colleges which do not make the professional 
education of ministers primary are in greatest jeop- 
ardy. This is because students from Disciple homes 
are already going to state universities and other 
tax-supported schools in far greater numbers than 
to denominational schools. Some reasons for this 
are obvious : the non-church schools are larger, have 
better equipment, and are less expensive. They are 
more in the stream of the general life and they get 
more space in the news. Many friends of church 
boys and girls go from the local high schools to state 

In so far as the church-related colleges make a 
general appeal through "popularity" it is largely 
because they have lost the appearance of being 
church schools. Many have become "functionally" 
municipal and "secular." In such schools them- 
selves, on their own campuses, the characteristic re- 
ligious teaching is largely relegated to the Bible 
College. But the picture as presented to the 
churches is that of the greater prominence of the 
Bible College. It is this picture which is most effec- 
tive with the churches when money is solicited. The 
fact is that when students and funds are sought 
from the general public the religious affiliation of 
the college is not stressed. Rather it is shown that 
some members of the faculty are of other faiths, 
including it may be Jews and Catholics and non- 
church men. That may mean an atmosphere neutral 
to religious interests and may imply that there is 
something incompatible between denominational 
religion and our present day culture. 


If any religious body could overcome this conflict, 
its colleges might be in accord with its churches, 
and its churches with the colleges. An extreme 
statement of the case would be to say that the col- 
leges represent the forward growing aspect of mod- 
ern life, while the churches are holding on to out- 
grown ideas. Most churches retain fragments of the 
old creeds such as supernaturalism, miracles, the 
inherent sinfulness of man, and a magical idea of 
salvation. They have a different attitude toward 
the Bible than toward other great literature. They 
think it is more difficult to read and far more diffi- 
cult to understand. 

Here is the great opportunity of Disciple colleges 
as they seek to bring together the task of higher 
education and the life of the churches. The Disci- 
ples founded their colleges in the conviction that the 
sane and practical religion taught in the churches 
needed the support of education in liberal arts, 
science, and the various vocations. They wanted an 
educated church membership as well as an educated 
ministry. Religion for all their people was to be 
intelligent, free from superstition, open to all truth 
in every sphere of life. Only well equipped colleges 
could supply this and guarantee an effective antidote 
for the artereo-sclerosis which is the common danger 
of all religious bodies as they grow older. Schools 
free from dogmatism, full of the zest for non-theo- 
logical Christianity, intelligently devoted to right 
of private interpretation of the Bible, receptive to 
the new knowledge which science and practical life 
continually bring, were regarded by the early 
Disciple leaders as essential for the fulfillment of 
the "reformation" which they so ardently advocated. 
Laymen in pews and laymen in pulpits were there- 
fore to share in the liberating influences of the 
colleges. If the colleges were to do this for either 
the pew or the pulpit and not for both, then disaster 
would overtake the cherished reformation. 


That disaster is impending if it has not already 
fallen upon the Disciples of Christ! Reactionary 
forces are already endeavoring to discredit many 
of the colleges. In some quarters a pretense of edu- 
cation, without accredited standards, lends itself to 
this opposition to respectable colleges, in the name 
of fervor and illiberalism. The rank and file of 
Disciple churches over the whole country need a re- 
vival of the great and timely principles with which 
the Disciple movement began. Unless this revival 
is in some adequate way achieved the "demonic" 
powers of ignorance, sectarianism, and charlantism 
will prevail where there should be light, growth, 
and real redemption. 

The Board of Higher Education of the Disciples 
of Christ is conscious of this direful situation and 
is setting itself vigorously to meet it. Several things 
have been suggested. One is to get more money 
for the work of the colleges and this should be done. 
But to do this the colleges must have the support 
and cooperation of all other agencies. Missions, 
social action, local church work, and every other 
form of activity need the resources of men and 
measures which only education can supply Jour- 
nalists, pastors, evangelists, state secretaries, boards 
of church extension, pension funds, and all the rest 
need to be roused to the importance of higher 

But the most important thing for the Board of 
Higher Education is to carry forward the plan it 
has discussed to carry its own claims for the colleges 
into every church in the country, and to do this not 
primarily in order to raise funds, but rather to 
illuminate and further the principles for which the 
Disciples came into being and without which they 
will surely perish or only remain like stagnant pools 
to infest the world. The ideas with which this move- 
ment began and which it so much needs to recover 
now with new appreciation and power are ideas 


which every college, and every professor In every 
college, should be willing to endorse and promote 
or else confess that he is not fitted to teach in any 
place where religion is respected and seen to be an 
important and vital matter for all American youth. 
For these ideas are not denominational, sectarian, 
unscientific, unreasonable, dogmatic, sentimental, 
outworn, or negligible. 

These ideas make the Bible intelligible and rec- 
ognize that some parts are important and other 
unimportant. Those that are important are to be 
believed, and each person may get help to find which 
are important for him. Another idea is that of the 
primacy of Jesus Christ in Christian faith but with 
the realization that this does not require the accept- 
ance of any theological doctrine about Jesus. The 
Disciples are neither trinitarians nor unitarians but 
they believe in the Christlikeness of God. Another 
idea is that the idea of original sin is a myth and a 
slanderous reflection on both God and Man. An- 
other idea is that of the desirability of Christian 
Union through fellowship and love with freedom ot 
opinion. There are other great ideas about conver- 
sion, ecclesiastical authority, the sabbath, salvation, 
tolerance, the great ages of the world and man, 
about possibilities and destiny. 

There is still another idea that the Disciples need 
to see again with better understanding than ever 
before. That is an idea about themselves, their 
place in history and their relation to the modern 
world. They do not belong to Protestantism, but 
arose after Protestantism was formulated, that is, 
after Calvin and Luther and Wesley. More impor- 
tant concerning their non-protestantism is the fact 
that they do not accept the theology of Calvin or 
Luther or Wesley. tFnder the influence of the 
Renaissance spirit the Disciples went back to the 
classical beginnings of Christianity just as the 
leaders of the Renaissance went back to the great 


classical literatures of Greece and Rome. It is the 
Renaissance, with its respect for human nature, its 
demand for liberty, for free scientific inquiry, for 
democracy, for the arts and liberal culture, that 
provides the background from which the temper 
and the characteristic conceptions of the Disciples 
of Christ arose. 

The Disciples are justified in regarding themselves 
as the representatives of very significant historic 
ideas that have been gaining more and more influ- 
ence in the modern world for the last four hundred 
years and that have already come to wonderful 
fruition in philosophy, science, politics, economics, 
and technology. The Disciples have undertaken to 
apply them in religion and in religious education. 
Their destiny is bound up with faithfulness to this 

A journal of popular opinion, in a recent adver- 
tisement, rdlates that on May 28, 1885, an illustrious 
poet and political thinker made an entry in his 
diary. His last entry . . . for that night he died 
in his sleep. The next morning, newspapers 
throughout the world headlined the passing of 
Victor Hugo. And turning to his diary, men read 
the last entry: "There is one thing stronger than 
all the armies in the world ; and that is an idea whose 
time has come." 

We mourn the loss of one of our members. Dr. W. C. 
Morro, who passed away suddenly March 24, at Fort 
Worth, Texas. He had been a professor in Brite 
College of the Bible for the past sixteen years. He 
was 71. He exerted a deep and constructive influ- 
ence on great numbers of students and published 
books of lasting value. 


The Freedom of the Emeriti 

Bij W. M. Forrest, Cuckoo, Va. 
"We have made a list of Emeriti who are 
now free men and we shall offer them 
invitations to write." {The Scroll, p. 192, 
February, 1943.) 
This text, like many taken from Holy Writ, lends 
itself to various interpretations and applications. 
If its implication is that the Emeriti are men who 
have garnered wisdom through the long years that 
led to the day of retirement, that is complimentary 
to them. Out of the study and experience of a life- 
time the men of 65 and 75 and older should be able 
to pass valuable ammunition to the younger men 
in active service upon the firing line. "Knowledge 
comes, but wisdom lingers." If the coming was 
steady and whole through the advancing years, and 
the lingering not too protracted, the Emeriti may 
impart certain valuable lessons in the app^lication of 
knowledge, which is the essence of wisdom. "Days 
should speak, and multitude of years should teach 
wisdom." It is well that the editor of The Scroll 
should give us ancients opportunity to lay before 
our juniors "articles giving suggestions for further 
emancipation of the True Faith." Those of us who 
avail of it must take our chances on showing 
whether our "grey hairs are a crown of glory, or a 
fool's cap." 

A second implication is that retirement from ac- 
tive service has freed the Emeriti from the grind of 
daily tasks, and left them time for composing arti- 
cles that editors will eagerly pass on to appreciative 
readers. That would seem to be a reasonable as- 
sumption. A man whose years have been spent 
preaching at least twice every week, frequently 
addressing multitudinous organizations, conducting 
weddings and funerals, visiting parishioners, at- 
tending board meetings, appeasing irate elders. 


pacifying battling choirs, raising funds for all kinds 
of causes should surely have vast stretches of time 
for writing articles. Or if he has been a teacher 
whose days demanded three or four lectures to his 
classes, labor on important academic committees, 
attendance of faculty and departmental meetings, he 
might be expected to have abundant leisure to pour 
forth a torrent of wisdom for "the emancipation 
of the True Faith." So it may be, but after several' 
years of freedom, this particular Emeritus must 
reluctantly confess that the days go by with such 
incredible speed that there is not time for all the 
anticipated pleasure of elegant leisure, nor ways 
of escape from many tasks that others can find for 
idle hands to do. It was bad enough before certain 
non-emeriti busied themselves in launching an en- 
grossing war, perhaps to prevent the leisured class 
from having time to write articles to emancipate 
the True Faith. But our editor should not despair. 
Every war ends ultimately, while "time, like a never 
ending stream" bears even the youngest and busiest 
inevitably to the emeritus stage. Patient persistence 
in the search for free men with both time and 
determination to write liberating articles will yield 
a harvest in due season to those who faint not. 

A final implication of the text is that only Emeriti, 
free from the fear of denominational weekly papers. 
State secretaries, "A Functioning Eldership;" or 
college trustees and presidents dare write with a 
degree of independence that serves nothing but "the 
emancipation of the True Faith." If such be the real 
meaning of the text the editor is almost certainly 
doomed to disappointment. The assumption that 
Emeriti will have wisdom to produce emancipating 
articles, or energy to snatch from their busy idle- 
ness time for such writing is a bold one. But it 
would be madness indeed to expect preachers and 
teachers who had gone softly all their days, in 
cringing fear of those who had power to hire and 


fire, suddenly to give daring utterance to revolu- 
tionary thought merely because they are no longer 
hired, and hence cannot be fired. 

It must be freely granted that there are times to 
keep silent as well as times to speak. Ministers and 
teachers have obligations to the institutions that 
employ them, as well as rights to their opinions, and 
loyalties to their convictions. Often churches or 
colleges may be like the disciples to whom the 
Master said, "I have much more to tell you, but you 
cannot take it in now." To say nothing of expedi- 
ences and opinions, even the truth may need to be 
imparted "here a little and there a little" as men 
are able to receive it. Those who ruthlessly embroil 
churches and schools because they are able to move 
on to other employment, may be as recreant as those 
who keep the peace at the cost of truth because they 
fear there will be no other employment for them. 
But the man of God must speak boldly, as he ought 
to speak. He must be willing to live dangerously 
every day. 

Such men may be freer in the day of their retire- 
ment when former relationships and obligations no 
longer restrain them. They may speak more forth- 
rightly when their words no longer threaten the 
peace or the life of the organizations they once 
served. But if it is known that their active years 
were dominated by cowardly weakness, no late show 
of boldness is likely to win them followers in a 
crusade for the True Faith. If they not only cau- 
tiously withheld truth till men were able to bear it, 
but deliberately suppressed it, or wantonly attacked 
it for the sake of popularity and pay, their emanci- 
pating power will never be potent in their declining 
years. One may hope that The Scroll will have on 
its list of Emeriti only those who in days less free 
were valiant for the True Faith. They are the 
veterans who may still break one more lance in the 
cause of emancipation. 


''Eccentricities of Genius'' 

By George A. Campbell 
The Gatesworth, St. Louis, Mo. 

I wonder how many readers of The Scroll ever 
heard of this book. I had not heard of it until 
recently. My discovery of it has rather an interest- 
ing background. While in Pentwater last summer 
I found in our cottage a group picture of three 
people, two men and a woman. Underneath one 
was written, "Mark Twain in Winnipeg, Canada, 
July 27, 1895." Underneath the picture of the woman 
was typed, "Thought to be Mrs. Henry Ward 
Beecher." There is no indication who the central 
man in the picture is. 

A friend of mine, a Mark Twain enthusiast, had 
a dozen copies of this picture made. About the time 
I received these pictures, Mrs. Allison Henderson, 
who was giving some missionary lectures in the city, 
called on me. Her husband is still a prisoner of the 
Germans. Her home is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I 
gave her one of the pictures, and asked her to try 
and find out something about the persons in the 

When she returned to Winnipeg, she took the 
picture to the Winnipeg Free Press, and the editors 
at once recognized Mr. John J. Conklin, who in the 
picture seems to be a by-stander looking on the 
three main characters. He was a reporter on the 
Winnipeg Free Press at the time the picture was 
taken. He is now retired and living in Winnipeg. 
The files of the Winnipeg Free Press say that, 
"Mark Twain lectured in Winnipeg July 27 and 
28." Mark Twain was accompanied on that visit by 
his wife, his daughter, and Major and Mrs. J. B. 
Pond. Mr. Conklin told Mrs. Hendersen the central 
figure of the picture was that of Major Pond, and 
is sure the woman is Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher. 
The Winnipeg papers do not mention the presence 


of Mrs. Beecher at that time. Mr. Conklin, how- 
ever, writes that Mrs. Beecher's picture was pasted 
on a card and then a picture was taken of the three. 

I could not find a complete copy of Pond's book 
in St. Louis. Since then I have secured copies from 
New York second-hand stores. A copy published 
by G. W. Dillingham, New York, in 1900, and one 
published in London in 1901. Each volume has 
three pictures of Major Pond. These pictures throw 
some doubt on the central figure of the three being 
that of Major Pond. I am having some corre- 
spondence with Mr. Conklin which I hope will even- 
tually lead to certainty concerning all the persons 
in the picture; and Mrs. Henderson, by her per- 
sistent investigation, is proving a real Sherlock 

The Eccentricities of Genius is sl fascinating book 
to read by any one who is interested in reading of 
geniuses of fifty years ago. Major Pond handled 
most of the engagements for lecturers of a half cen- 
tury ago, some 200, and quite often traveled with 
the most celebrated. The three greatest lecturers 
that America has produced according to the author, 
are John B. Gough, Wendell Phillips, and Henry 
Ward Beecher. Of these he was intimate with 
Beecher, whom he considered his dearest friend. 
He took him to England for some lectures on the 
slave question. Beecher's victory over antagonistic 
audiences was amazing. 

During all of Beecher's trouble. Pond seemed 
never to have a doubt as to his innocence. The 
preface to Eccentricities of Genius is unique. It 
starts this way, "There are 3,000 prefaces in my 
library. None of them suits me. They are all 
better and more appropriate than I can write, so, 
I extract from different ones as many as I think 
are needed for this book of mine." Then follows 
quotations from John B. Gough, Mr. Dooley, Mark 
Twain, Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage, Frderick Douglass, 


and Sam Walter Foss. Each quotation is character- 
istic of the man who originally wrote it; for in- 
stance, this is the part of the preface he takes 
from Dr. Talmage's preface to The Pathway of 
Life, "GREAT IS the responsibility! of the publish- 
ing of a book, especially in this case where the pub- 
OF! An unprecedented occurence in the history of 
LITERATURE!" The capitals, italics and aston- 
ishers are mine. — J.B.P.) 

Major Pond in managing some 200 lectures of all 
kinds and several nationalities, had a good oppor- 
tunity to judge the eccentricities of genius, and some 
of them were highly gifted with eccentricities. 
Major Pond, I would judge, was a man of rare ju- 
dicial mind. He speaks of the good points of nearly 
all the men and women he handled. 

After reading his book, one has a new sense of 
the dignity of human nature. The Major was 
usually successful in securing the lecturers he sought, 
but there were a few exceptions. He made several 
attempts to get an interview with Rev. C. H. Spur- 
geon of London, but he returned without even get- 
ting to see him. Spurgeon would answer his letters, 
but would not make an appointment with him. Here 
is a characteristic sentence Spurgeon wrote him, 
"Dear Sir: I am not at all afraid of anything you 
could say by way of temptation to preach or lecture 
for money, for the whole of the United States in 
bullion would not lead me to deliver one such 

The Honorable W. E. Gladstone treated him 
better ; he breakfasted twice with Mr. Gladstone, but 
Mr. Gladstone wrote him, "Dear Sir: I have to 
acknowledge the receipt of your letter, with all the 
kindness it expresses, and the dazzling proposals 
which it offers. Unhappily my reply lies not in vain 
expressions of hope, but in the burden of 70 years, 
and of engagements and duties beyond my strength." 


I do not recall that any American refused Major 
Pond. He us-ually made a success of all lecturers 
he eng-aged, and made liberaH financial terms. He 
offered W. E. Gladstone $20,000 for 20 lectures, and 
all expenses. This is not a good example of Major 
Pond's liberality for many of his lecturers received 
$20,000 a season. Mr. Gladstone would have filled 
the largest auditorium in America, even though the 
admission price would be high. 

I am not sure that the general reader will share 
my enthusiasm for this book by Major Pond, but it 
happens that it treats of a number of men I heard 
when I was in college, such as Chauncey M. DePew, 
Booker T. Washington, Lyman Abbott, Newell 
Dwight Hillis, T. DeWitt Talmage, Mrs. Maud Bal- 
lington Booth, Max O'Rell, Nye and Riley, Henry M. 
Stanley, George Kennan, Joseph Jefferson, Mat- 
thew Arnold, Dr. John Watson (Ian Maclaren) and 
Hall Caine. Besides Henry Ward Beecher, he was 
most fond of Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) and 
Dr. John Watson (Ian Maclaren). 

Of Mark Twain he wrote, "I consider him one of 
the greatest geniuses of our time, and as great a 
philosopher as humorist; 'tenderness' and 'sensi- 
tiveness' are his two strongest traits. He had one 
of the best hearts that ever beat." 

Major Pond found Dr. Watson to be a man of 
equally tender feelings, and of kindly humor. When 
he first met him at the boat in New York he writes, 
"I liked him then; I love him now." 

Major J. B. Pond belonged to the greatest lecture 
period that America ever had, but that day is gone 
forever. The radio, the movie, the columnist, the 
marvelous increase of newspapers, magazines, and 
books have robbed the lecture platform of its pre- 
eminent glow and glamour. Talk is cheap, the war 
seems to put Pond's golden era farther and farther 
back. I am not rejoicing in this fact, but rather re- 
gretting it. I wish we could be thrilled anew by a 
Phillips, a Beecher, or a Watson. 


Morale and Religion 

By Riley Herman Pittman, T.C.U., Ft. Worth, Tex. 

In desperate times life demands a high degree 
of morale. It is often the difference between vic- 
tory and defeat, success and failure, a cause sus- 
tained or a cause lost. Current events and their 
interpretations point to the importance of an un- 
derstanding of morale. It is a common assumption 
that religion is a veritable support to the morale 
of a person or a people. The purpose of this paper 
is to analyze morale and relate it to religion. 

Morale is the quality of one's action. The quality 
of action may be positive or negative, good or bad, 
strong or weak, high or low. Morale may be thought 
of as the barometer that registers the degree of 
dynamic action which individuals or groups take. 
When a person acts with intensity and drive, when 
he acts dynamically, he has good morale. The word 
is used to express a condition or readiness to act. 
When this condition is characterized by zeal, zest, 
confidence, etc., a person has good moraJle. 

Morale is not to be confused with motivation. 
Motivation suggests that a person has cause or 
purpose to act, that he has been incited or induced 
to action. It does not tell how he acts. It does not 
tell with what quality, force, drive, intensity or de- 
termination the action is taken. It is in the province 
of morale to tell with what degree the action is 
taken. Frequently, one speaks of building morale, 
or changing action with zeal, spiritedness, vital- 
ity or drive. In a popular sense morale is spoken 
of as the "click" or the "spark" which in turn con- 
note dynamic action; Positive morale, therefore, 
is defined as that active dynamic quality operating 
in the lives of those who have needs to be fulfilled 
and objectives to be accomplished. It is not just 
action, nor a state of readiness to act, but it is action 


with power, with drive and with force. It is quali- 
tative action. 

A fitting analogy as to the function of positive 
morale is the supercharger on the modern aircrajrt 
engine. The supercharger enhances the proper dis- 
tribution of mixture to the various cylinders. This 
results in greater weight of charge giving the engine 
more power necessary for high altitudes. It also 
increases the power on take-offs and climbs. The 
supercharger intensifies the power output of an 
engine. Positive morale supercharges human action 
when situations demand it. 

Morale has a complexity of supporting influences. 
It obtains its quality from the living organism — ^the 
individual who is always in action. He is always 
doing something: seeing, eating, sleeping, walking, 
reflecting, establishing habit patterns, preserving 
patterns, breaking patterns, etc. All these acts are 
intricately woven into the environment. In the 
individual there are impulses, appetites and needs 
to be fulfilled. In the environment there are the ma- 
terials for fulfillment: food, objects to see and feel, 
and institutions and other individuals with which to 
interact. In this process of interaction, the indi- 
vidual shapes his aims, objectives, behavior patterns, 
hopes and aspirations. 

Action taken by the individual toward objectives 
may be on at least three levels. He may act from 
the level of established habit. This action is some- 
what mechanical and reflective following established 
routines which do not require discrimination aware- 
ness. Secondly, he may act on the rational and 
reflective level. This is the level of analysis, criti- 
cism and discrimination. Thirdly, the individual 
may act with purpose and determination. This 
involves all the other levels, but the distinguishing 
factor is that the individual's action is taken in 
relation to objectives and purposes. The action is 
guided, it has direction and it is on this level that 


it becomes most dynamic, most qualitative, and is 
intensified by the individual's urgent needs and the 
objectives sought for fulfillment. When impulses, 
desires, felt needs are initiated dynamically toward 
objectives, purposes and aspirations, the action is 

Morale is limited only by man's inability to act 
purposively, to envisage his objectives clearly, and 
to abandon and release himself for their ccomplish- 
ment. When one has seen his goal clearly, and re- 
leased himsdf purposively and dynamically toward 
this goal, then he has morale. This is demonstrated 
in all areas of human endeavor. 

The best in life depends upon the "dynamic 
action" of individuals working with other indi- 
viduals. The individual or a group of individuals 
do not accomplish objectives unless they have 
morale. Progress in the development of better 
homes, better communities, better institutions and 
better nations is retarded unless there is this active 
dynamic quality operating in the lives of those com- 
posing them. Any army without morale, although 
it has all the instruments necessary to prosecute 
warfare, is most likely to lose its battle and be swept 
from the field. Napoleon felt that, "In war, morale 
conditions make up three-quarters of the game : the 
relative balance of man-power accounts only for the 
remaining quarter." Morale can produce a victory 
for a nation judged inferior, it can turn impossibili- 
ties into possibilities, possibilities into actualities. It 
plays an important part in keeping the lines of pro- 
duction going, the home fires burning, and a people 
striving and driving toward their objectives. It is 
not diflUcult to select from the pages of history 
examples of those embodying high morale. Most 
everyone has seen in parents or friends the acme 
of "dynamic action." There are those persons who 
seem to generate more of this as conditions and 
circumstances become more insurmountable. 


The story of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker and 
seven companions and their three week fight for life 
in the equatorial waters of the Pacific, is matchless 
in its demonstration of morale. Their desire to live 
and their religious faith made them conquerors of 
death. Desperation and the curtain of death were 
fought back time and time again by their trust in 
God for water, food and deliverance. 

Any successful enterprise must have a high de- 
gree of morale. The individuals composing an enter- 
prise must have the urgent desire to accomplish 
specific objectives. These objectives must have 
meaning and value. They must be personal and in- 
tricately integrated into the very texture of their 
lives. Supporting sentiments, beliefs and ideals 
must be kept clear and distinct by adequate symbols, 
expressions and images. This holds true for a 
successful football team. Weight, speed and experi- 
ence are not enough. These factors, to be sure, are 
not to be minimized, but a team that does not desire 
to win, one that does not build up the right senti- 
ments and beliefs will not take ''dynamic action" 
on the playing field. 

Some years ago a very successful coach developed 
a high quality of morale among his players. He 
used the word championship as their chief objec- 
tive. He broke the word down into its several letters 
and to each letter he assigned a quality necessary 
to produce successful playing. Periodically, he ex- 
horted his players to practice these several qualities 
and never did he let them forget the word cham- 
pionship. He also explained that the qualities needed 
on the playing field were those necessary for suc- 
cessful citizenship. This gave additional meaning 
to these qualities for the team. The word champion- 
ship served as a symbol to generate along with other 
factors the proper sentiments, attitudes and aspira- 
tions to produce a dynamically f^laying team. This 
particular team won its championship and many 



other honors. 

The leaders of our nation have declared over and 
over again that machines and materials are not 
enough to prosecute the war. Much has been written 
and spoken about civilian and soldier morale. 
Thoughtful and ideally-minded people have asked 
for specific and definite objectives. They want to 
know what the war aims are. It is most difficult 
to state in a few words all the complex implications 
of war aims. Consequently, those persons announc- 
ing war aims often make them too general or too 
circumscribed. To call forth dynamic action from a 
people, war aims must speak of the deep values 
underlying national life. They must touch the vital 
cords of the home, the community, the church and 
all the institutions symbolizing and idealizing the 
deep sentiments of a people. The defense of Stalin- 
grad is an example of a people with great morale. 
The spirit or morale of this people withstood the 
onslaught of might and machine. Their land, their 
homes and all the institutions sacred to them were 
involved and served as ends to call out their very all. 

Morale, in the positive sense, tells how action is 
taken, it tells of the intensity and the dynamic qual- 
ity of the action. To be sure, "how" man acts is 
the concern of religion. If action is not taken with 
purpose and determination, motivation and direction 
is lacking. Men do not release themselve freely 
and dynamically without incentives and objectives. 
Religion includes all the deep qualities and out- 
reachings of man for the good and the best. Morale 
is not so inclusive. It does not necessarily relate 
to the good and the best, yet these depend upon the 
"dynamic action" of the individual or the group. 
Of necessity religion must be concerned with mo- 
rale, for "dynamic action" is produced only when 
one is properly motivated and directed. Until these 
three factors (Motivation, Morale, Direction) are 
in operation, persons do not meet the exigencies 


of life triumphantly. 

It is our thesis that this dynamic quality of acting 
or behaving is a part of the religious quality in life 
and can be called forth and initiated by the institu- 
tion that fosters religion; namely, the church. The 
church has stood as guide over the direction and 
motivation of human life. Its particular genius has 
been that of declaring worthy objectives, ideals, be- 
liefs and faiths for life. It has maintained a cohe- 
sive fellowship, a feeling of "togetherness," and it 
has given people a sense of cosmic support. It has 
cherished and nurtured the values most precious to 
the good life. The home, the state, and other insti- 
tutions have stood alongside the church in these high 
functions, but in our culture the church has given 
these institutions their motivation and direction. The 
church is the institution that awakens men's loyalty, 
their love and their sensitivity to God. 

What we have said about any successful enter- 
prise also applies to the church. For individuals or 
a group to have motivation and direction, specific 
objectives must be clearly presented. They must be 
personal and intricately integrate into the very 
texture of their lives. 

Supporting sentiments, beliefs and ideals must 
be kept clear and distinct by symbols that are ger- 
mane to the experience of living. They can not be 
superimposed. They must express vividly the values 
that give meaning and significance to life. If they 
do this they will fire the imagination and capture 
the hearts and minds of a people. When this occurs 
the problems of low morale will be dissolved. Action 
will be dynamic, life will have vitality and drive. 
It will be supercharged. Religion will be a veritable 
support to the morale of a people. 

Today, the church is challenged to fulfill its 
unique functions more effectively — to give incentive 
for dynamic action and to direct this action toward 
the noblest of goals. 


Religious Education 

By Wm. F. Clarke, Duluth 

Education may be considered either as a process 
or as the product of a process. As a process it is 
the working of a complex of activities designed to 
develop in the individual that unique complement 
of potentialities constituting his original endow- 
ment. Religious education would be the working of 
such a set of activities consciously designed to de- 
velop the individual's potentialities in the direction 
the Creator had in mind when He endowed the 

According to the foregoing it would be necessary 
for the promoters of religious education to know 
something of God's purposes with respect to man 
and understand how to cooperate with God in His 
efforts to attain these purposes. As to what God's 
purposes with respect to man are there is but one 
source of knowledge. God's will with respect to 
man has to be inferred from God's acts in relation 
to man. God has seen fit to reveal himself through 
action rather than through the medium of regular 
language, whether spoken or written. To know 
God's will with respect to man men have to study 
and interpret God's activities in relation to man. 

Some men are more skilled than others in com- 
prehending this language of action. Such men have 
been of great service to their fellows by sharing 
with them the conclusions they have arrived at re- 
specting God's will. It must always be remembered, 
however, that the conclusions of these men are not 
binding upon other men. For others these conclu- 
sions are but suggestions. In the end each individual 
has to think things out for himself. That is one of 
the means employed by God in the educative process 
He has directed towards man. 


For long the Bible has been regarded justly as 
the world's richest depository of conclusions regard- 
ing God's purposes with respect to man. Resorting, 
therefore, to the Bible we find Moses representing 
God as formulating His purpose in creating man in 
the following words : "Let us make man in our own 
image." David enlarges upon this idea when he 
declares, "Thou madest man lower even than the 
lowest orders in Heaven, and yet Thou hast crowned 
him with glory and honor." And Paul, centuries 
later, agrees with Moses when he assures us that 
God planned in advance that man should attain 
unto sonship in His family. 

Putting these ideas together we may say that 
God's purpose with respect to man was to create a 
being lower than the lowest beings then in existence 
and then make of this lowly creature a being able 
to qualify as a son of God. Obviously God designed 
to subject man to a developmental process, that is, 
to a process of education. Just as the potentialities 
in the germ unfold and grow in the womb of the 
mother into the characteristics we recognize as those 
of a human being, so in the womb of life the 
potentialities of divinity implanted in the germinal 
soul of man unfold and develop into those char- 
acteristics which qualify him for sonship in the 
family of God. The process through which this is 
attained is an educational process, and of course it 
is a religious process. 

That life is a school is a very common remark. 
Analysis and comprehension of the curriculum of 
this school, however, is not so common. Since it is 
the school in which God is educating man it of 
course fdlows that its activities are made to con- 
form with God's purpose with respect to man. Since 
the end aimed at is the transformation of man into 
a son of God it necessarily follows that the activities 
of this school are such as to acquaint man with the 
characteristics of righteousness and induce him to 


take on these characteristics himself. How does 
God go about the accomplishment of this purpose? 

It is well known that man learns righteousness 
best through experience. He must have actual and 
personal experience with both the right and the 
wrong in life before he can discern and comprehend 
these two aspects of life. So God planned to give 
man an abundance of just such experience. 

When man had demonstrated that he was not 
fitted for a home in Eden God drove him forth from 
Eden and placed him in this present world with Ml 
its imperfections and admonished him to fall to 
and make himself master of his environment and 
transform it into another Eden. God had seen to 
it that man could not live satisfactorily in this new 
environment until he had thus transformed it into 
an Eden. The striving for a satisfactory existence 
in this imperfect environment which man began at 
once and has kept up ever since gave rise to 
innumerable problems. God thus made it necessary 
for man to speculate, experiment, observe, compare, 
conclude, etc., activities that are all highly educative 
in their effects upon the mind and soul of man. Not 
the least of these problems grows out of man's indi- 
vidualism. No two men are identical to work out 
his own salvation in relation to his environment. 
Many of his problems are peculiar to himself and 
he is obliged to think independently if he is to find 
the right solution to his particular problems. And 
it is important that he find the right solution to his 
problems, for otherwise he can not play properly 
the part in life assigned him by his Creator when 
he was given his unique endowment. Failing that 
he delays the work of transforming Earth into 
Eden. He also fails to attain unto righteousness 
and the rewards flowing from righteousness. For 
the essence of righteousness consists in discovering 
and employing the right solutions for all of life's 


The foregoing offers a brief sketch of the educa- 
tion to which God subjects man. The education 
which man devises for himself and his fellows 
should follow the same pattern. That is to say, it 
should hold clearly and intelligently to the task of 
fitting man for efficient functioning in carrying out 
the divine assignment directing him to make him- 
self master of his environment and transform it 
into Eden. This is not contrary to the Master's 
admonition, "Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven." 
When giving this admonition Jesus was telling his 
disciples how to provide themselves with food, 
clothing and shelter. Seek these things in accord 
with the will of God and you will obtain them in 
abundance, is his meaning, and experience confirms 
this stand-point. The meaning of this is easily seen 
in the physical realm, the realm to which food, 
clothing and shelter belong. Here science has busied 
itself with the mastery of the environment and 
thereby learned how to control it better through 
obeying its laws, that is, through comprehending 
and comforming to God's will with respect to the 
environment. It was thus that we acquired the 
benefits from electricity, steam, all manner of 
chemicals, etc. Comprehension of the social envi- 
ronment and obedience to God's will here also is 
essential to the attainment of Eden. Salvation is 
thus a consequence of religious education. For he 
who does nought to produce an Eden here has earned 
no right to an Eden over there. 

Obviously much of current education is at least 
formally religious. When it becomes consciously 
devoted to transforming man into a son of God 
through employing the objectives and methods God 
himself is employing in the educational process to 
which He is subjecting man then will it become truly 


Christ and Christian Education 

This is the title of a new book by Professor William 
Clayton Bower who is rounding out this year a dis- 
tinguished career in religious education at the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. It is a book of 128 pages, pub- 
lished by the Abingdon-Cokesbury Press for one 
dollar. The four chapters deal with Christian Edu- 
cation After Nineteen Centuries, A Functional 
Concept of Christian Education, The Bible in Chris- 
tian Education, and Religious Education and Public 
Education. Here is a matured and persuasive study 
of the main principles of a functional view of the 
nature of religion and of its practical application 
in the interpretation of religious history, of the 
scriptures, and of religious experience in the indi- 
vidual and in society. Emphasis is given to religion, 
not as something separate from common experience, 
but rather as the integration and effective realiza- 
tion of all the values of living. The point of view 
throughout is that of liberalism at its best, without 
controversy or institutional bias. It is an excellent 
example of the free and scholarly treatment of sub- 
jects which are often beset by empty formalism and 
dry analysis. Any preacher or church school 
teacher will find in these chapters a rich and stim- 
ulating presentation of religion as a real and vital 
experience arising out of daily situations when 
appraised in their total meaning and interrelations. 
The combination of fearless scholarship with deep 
reverence for the living and recurrent elements of 
the teaching of Christ and for the ways of God in 
contemporaneous life make this work illuminating 
and dynamically constructive. The Disciple heritage 
of sane and progressive understanding of religion 
is brought to masterly expression in these pages with 
the full catholicity and universality which this heri- 
tage needs so much to achieve for its own fellowship 
and for the radiation of its message to the whole 
religious and secular world. — E.S.A. 


I A Hope That Grew 

; , An Easter Sermon by William Reese 

"He has come back ... go quickly and tell his 
disciples that He ... is going before you into 

One cannot be other than humble on this, of all 
mornings. The great power of this story has drawn 
throngs to the churches of America — hushed and 
expectant groups sit quietly in thousands of 
churches to hear about, think about, muse and 
ponder on this event. There must be a catch 
in many a throat as the cross is seen, and its mean- 
ing understood. For those in other lands, unable to 
worship in a formal way, there is still a silent meet- 
ing of minds; a quiet salute, to the meaning of 

It cannot be escaped, lightly brushed aside ; many 
who consider themselves irreligious cannot help 
but think, and be better for thinking of Easter-time. 
But though we sit before the immensity of this 
event, straining for the full, clear truth of it, we 
ask. What is its deepest meaning? What is it about 
this day that makes the heart beat faster, the head 
lift in a kind of pride? Easter, its deepest meaning, 
what is it? 

We have called it a day of hope, a day when 
tragedy was turned into triumph, a day when man's 
greatest questions were answered. Search your- 
selves; what do we mean when we thrill to these 
words? To find this great central hope it is neces- 
sary here, as in many cases, to first separate what 
we think is not the deepest and most central mean- 
ing, to pull the weeds so we can see the growing 

It was not the death of a lawbreaker on a cross ; 
it was not the enthronement of this symbol of two 
crossed planks that meant a criminal; the very 
symbol of disgrace became reversed and it came 


to mean love through pain. The deepest personal 
meaning is not that of a supernatural drama from 
Adam to Christ, from original sin to salvation; it 
has a much more personal meaning for you than 
that. The deepest meaning is not that of an emo- 
tional thrill that sends you to your knees and Christ 
to the clouds, and by your kneeling in worship re- 
moves him so completely from humanity that his 
ethical demands have ceased to be demands. That is 
certainly a weed we must rid ourselves of. Then I 
would eliminate the futile quibbling men have done 
over this event. Often we have argued so vigorously 
over how the food was prepared at the banquet 
that the meal was ruined; we have so critically 
examined the setting of the ring that we have missed 
the great beauty of the diamond. 

At our community Good Friday service perhaps 
you felt the difference of viewpoint, some thinking 
of the total sinfulness, depravity, meanness of man 
as against the other view of the greatness of man, 
the possibility of his growing goodness. 

For centuries men have argued over what hap- 
pened on that day. Some holding that Christ arose 
in a physical form, some holding that it was a 
spiritual resurrection, some holding that Christ's 
followers in those dark days began to see the great 
truth of his work and his words to them, and that 
this truth transformed them into flaming evangels. 
Men have held these beliefs; and sometimes they 
have refused fellowship to those who held some other 
view. I refuse to worry about this field of specula- 
tion; quibbling will do nothing but blind us to the 
greater truth. We must not have within ourselves 
a narrow attitude which refuses point-blank to 
recognize the sincere beliefs of others. As Chris- 
tians we cannot do this ; as members of the Disciples 
of Christ movement we would be turning away from 
one of our greatest principles. Don't be so critically 
belligerent of the setting that you miss the beauty 


of the diamond. 

A final attitude we must remove from our think- 
ing on this great day is that of making the center 
of our religion a personal hope for personal reward. 
Easter has been called "the day immortality was 
made certain." I object to your making this the 
center, the driving force, the all-in-all of Christian- 
ity. Why? The danger is great that you will 
coarsen religion until it is on your part a bargaining 
for reward. "If I keep these rules, I get a heavenly 
home. If I don't, I'll be dammed." That attitude 
is dangerous. It has happened in history. A church 
theologian described heaven and then gave the final 
reward which he said was "being able to look over 
into the abyss and see the tortures of those in hell." 
That attitude is unworthy of religion ; it is certainly 
unworthy of the great Master who died that the 
temendous ideals he preached might live. It is 
sdfish where he was selfless. 

I have been here saying that the deepest meaning 
of this glad Easter day is not, was not, cannot be, 
either an emotional thrill that makes us feel good 
but divorces us from the demand for purposeful 
living, nor a narrow attitude that says, "I believe 
what I believe and it is right; all others are wrong; 
and I refuse to fellowship with those who do not 
believe as I do even if they are followers of the 
Master," nor do I believe in centering the meaning 
of Easter, and all religion, around reward for keep- 
ing rules, and fear of the results if we do not keep 
those rules. It is well that we have pulled those 
w^eeds. Now the question still with us it, the deep- 
est meaning : what is it ? 

It is now that we enter upon shining truths, upon 
ideals and visions that make us gasp with awe, upon 
certainties where all men can stand together. We 
have said that to orient the meaning of today around 
personal reward is selfish. It is obvious that Jesus' 
followers in those days of crisis did not do that. 


If that had been their emphasis they would have 
been content to live out their days and accept re- 
ward. But did they? Get the picture. The tragedy 
of the cross. A day or so of gloom. Then the 
conviction in the hearts of these followers that that 
man's message cannot die. More days slipping by. 
Then the followers of Jesus who had hidden behind 
closed doors, standing forth with courage, telling 
others of this man, his ideas and his way of life. 
Deep within them had been remembered the words 
of Jesus — "others," "neighbors," care for the needy, 
ministering to the sick, clothing those ill-clad. In- 
sisting before all the people that they have not rid 
themselves of Jesus; that they must still face him 
one way or another, that his way is the right way. 
These men interpreted this day as the beginning of 
service to others, even though it might mean hard- 
ship. This is the spot where we must stand to- 
gether ; we can see that it is one of the great mean- 
ings of Easter for these early disciples. 

A gripping tale came out of Russia in the days 
when they had condemned Christianity, and would 
not allow men and women to gather in the churches. 
It was Easter and the Bolshevik regime seized the 
occasion to argue in favor of the move, and to prove 
religion an opiate that numbs the people. Great 
crowd. An orator hdd forth for an hour. Then 
he turned to the crowd and said, "I'll give any man 
five minutes to disprove what I have said." The 
crowd was silent; an old priest with white hair 
pressed to the platform, turned to the man and 
said, "I don't need five minutes; I don't need five 
words." To the crowd he simply said, "Christ is 
risen." And coming back in a thunderous wave was 
their answer, "Christ is risen indeed." Though the 
regime could forbid gatherings of people for wor- 
ship, they could not do away with the Christ that 
lived in their hearts. The people had still cherished 
the man, his ideals, his ethics. Force could not kill 


that. The second great certainty then is this. Men 
cry, "Christ arose." And I say, interpret it as you 
will, with gigantic strides he swept through that 
ancient world. With the feet of his followers he 
moved from remote Galilee to Rome. Countless 
numbers of people gave adherence to an ideal for- 
eign to them. 

A third great meaning we must all cherish is the 
natural move his followers made in those days. 
What was more natural than that they should meet 
together to remember their Master? What more 
fitting than that they forget differences and griev- 
ances to meet together in his memory? Could there 
be a greater message for us? You remember 
Thomas had separated himself from the group at 
first. But the others could not rest until he was 
with them. They told him of the great rewards of 
coming together in the Master's name. Legend tells 
us that this man Thomas was with them after that. 
Later we hear that he had become a high leader in 
that growing group. Greater than any differences 
was their loyalty to Jesus; it bound them together 
in fellowship ; should it not do the same for us ? 

The fourth deep meaning has to do with what 
was most meaningful to Jesus as he lived and 
taught. He was anxious that people might prepare 
themselves for what he termed "the kingdom of 
God." Whatever else may be in the meaning of 
that term, or in the method of its coming, it is clear 
that Jesus believed the morals he taught by parable 
would be the guide to that life, the attitudes of 
helpfulness in such stories as The Good Samaritan 
should guide the lives of people in that kingdom. We 
cannot separate from the deepest thought we have 
today what was dearest to Jesus in his day. The 
ideals have come down to us through the ages; the 
kingdom he spoke of, not yet. On this day we should 
be consecrated to the building of that kingdom. In 
a world at war we should see how far we in our 


humanity are from reaching this goal. We must 
resolve that we will not rest content until the black- 
est spots in our society have been rubbed clean. 
Here men must stand together. 

"He has come back ... go quickly and tell his 
disciples that he ... is going before you." He is 
going before you. The ideal is far ahead, binding 
us together in fellowship, binding us together in 
an effort to reach that goal. A hope that has grown 
through the years of a better world — call it his 
kingdom — and that vdll continue to grow, if we 
are true to the cause. This is the meaning of 
Easter. Take it to your hearts. Think on it. Make 
it part of you. It is the hope that has grown 
through the years, and that will yet triumph if we 
hold it high. 

Books of Substance 

By W. Barnett Blakemore, Jr. 

A few days ago a salesman for the Encyclopedia 
Britannica called me. Now there is a book of sub- 
stance par excellence! But I had to tell him that 
until some later day a personal copy of Brit would 
have to remain a fond dream. There are several 
other great sets of books which will have to remain 
in my dream library, perhaps for some time. Pri- 
marily there are the Cambridge Histories, Ancient, 
Medieval and Modern. History presents a problem 
when it comes to selecting books of substance. After 
all, history is the substance of experience, and it 
is so manifold that the problem of getting it between 
the covers of books is a tricky one. Individual 
works tend to deal with only one aspect of a very 
complex whole. History is divided into chrono- 
logical period and subject areas: military, pditical, 
diplomatic, social, etc. Most historians are special- 
ists in a single area and period. There are only two 
ways in which a comprehensive history can be 


written. The more expensive way is to gather 
together enough specialists to cover every area- 
period accurately; each man writes a separate 
chapter. The resulting tomes are tremendous and 
costly, but they will be accurate, and if well edited 
will display a psychological unity. The other process 
is far less costly, but not as accurate. It depends 
upon a single man who is willing to "stick his neck 
out before the specialists" and attempt to cover the 
whole range by himself. Such an individual reaps 
criticism from the professors, but the common peo- 
ple read his books. Willem van Loon has done this 
latter task in very popular style. His Story of Man^ 
kind is a racy introduction to history. But it whets 
the appetite for more profound treatment. H. G. 
Wells' Outline of History helps to fulfill the need. 
But for our book of substance this month we turn 
to Will Durant. In 1935 Simon and Shuster began 
publishing The Story of Civilization. Part I was 
entitled Oiir Oriental Heritage. Part II appeared 
in 1940 under the title. The Life of Greece. It was 
a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. There are at 
least four more parts to appear. The work will 
obviously not be finished for many years. Each part 
costs about $5. Together they will comprise a sub- 
stantiaJl history which all of us can afford, since it 
means only about $5 every five years. Surely you 
can afford $1 a year to learn the story of the civili- 
zation that man has wrought out. 

The Annual Meeting of the Campbell Institute 
will be held in Chicago during the week of August 1, 
1943. One session will be given to a discussion of 
A. C. Garnett's book, A Realistic Philosphy of Re- 
ligion; one session to Professor Bower's book, 
Christ and Christian Education; one to Prdems of 
Public Education ; one to the Doctrine of the Church 
Among Disciples; and there will be other subjects. 
Dr. Gordon Gilkey will be the principal speaker that 
week in the Pastors' Institute. 


Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. DeGroot 

Do not deem it, I prithee, as all too atrocious 
If thee I salute as My Dear Brother Grotius — 
Name revered both in Law and Campbellite Gospel : 
Am I dumb as an ass? Or could even a hoss spell 
From thy cryptic duns intelligent answer 
To my natural queries — What sum, if I can, sir, 
Ought I to remit? To what hour will't reprieve me? 
Judge not me a sinner ! I'm guiltless, believe me. 
If mine eye hath a mote, what is in thine own organ? 
But to quiet thee now — here's a buck for the Gorgon. 

Thus does Judge Frederick A. Henry, of Geauga 
Lake, Ohio, reply to my pleading for CI dues. Once 
more I affirm that the critics will yet have to reckon 
with this page in compiling their anthologies of 
American verse. A nice thing about it is that 
(usually) money accompanies the poetic offerings. 
But, not always, as the next composition will reveal 
on the basis of Lower Criticism — 

If I could speak three languages free 

I would send a message to A.T.D. 

Your records are a little lagging; 

Your memory needs a little jagging. 

The Grand Rapids records show my dues are up — 

Now take your medicine like a pup. 

For thrice I've wasted a card on you, 

To state I have no further dues. 

If to my pleadings you are not wise 

Try pasting this card before your eyes. 

That, my friends, was from B. L. Hagelbarger, of 
Mansfield, Ohio, prodded into action by the charge 
of financial delinquency. 


Vol. XL. JUNE, 1943 No. 10 

New Men for the New Day 

By W.E. Garrison 
Disciples Divinity House Convocation, June 13, 1943 

Josh, 1 :2. Moses my servant is dead. Now 
therefore arise, go over this Jordan. 

This text is out of ancient history, or pre-history, 
but it has contemporary implications. It is an excit- 
ing text for those who are interested in today and 
tomorrow. It mentions Moses and Joshua, but it 
means us. Its note was sounded centuries ago, but 
it has more reverberations than a bell. The story 
is, of course, familiar. Israel on the march from 
Egypt had come to Jordan, and Moses and all his 
generation were through. Jehovah is represented as 
saying in substance : Moses is dead. He was a good 
man in his time. He brought you where you are 
now. But his work is done and his time is past. 
You are in a dangerous spot, with a desert behind 
you to which you cannot return, and a river before 
you that he could not cross. Beyond that river lies 
a territory he never explored — the territory that is 
to be your home. But you can make it your home 
only under new leadership and by types of action 
you have never used before. Now, therefore, you, 
Joshua, and you other strong young men who have 
learned all that Moses could teach you, by his suc- 
cesses and his mistakes, you who have powers of 
your own just coming to their fullness, and the vigor 
and drive of youth — you, I say, with an unconquered 
but conquerable land before you, with all your fresh 
and unexhausted energies in you, and with the help 
of God over you, leave Moses and yesterday behind 
you. "Arise, go over this Jordan," and get on with 
the work of tomorrow. 


This is the word of the Lord to every new gen- 
eration as it comes to maturity and takes up its 
responsibilities. The Joshua story is a kind of 
parable, illustrating- a large truth in over-simplified 
form — as parables always do. The transfer of lead- 
ership and responsibility is seldom so sudden or 
dramatic, but it is always just as inevitable. The 
persons involved are not comparable with Moses and 
Joshua except that, in a general way, there are 
always those who are ending their share in some 
piece of work and those who are beginning theirs. 
The total enterprise is a kind of relay race. Con- 
scientious and responsible leaders in every gen- 
eration want to carry progress on to the point where 
the future will be secure for all time — and some- 
times they think that security consists in digging 
in, or setting up barriers against change — but al- 
ways they leave their work incomplete and must 
hand over to their heirs and assigns, not a guaran- 
teed security, but some accumulated resources of 
knowledge and experience, some tested methods of 
procedure (which may or may not be applicable in 
the new situations, and a multitude of problems 
which they themselves had neither the time nor the 
capacity to solve — in short, a world still in flux, 
though not necessarily one in full eruption, as at 
present. Thirty or forty years from now you will 
be handing over such a world to your successors — 
a very much improved world, I hope, but still one 
beset and bedevilled by problems that are not yet 
even on the agenda of this decade. And always the 
new generation must take over the world as it is, 
with all its assets and liabilities. That is the burden 
and the responsibility and the glory of each new 

Here is my thesis — and in this company I need 
not conceal its academic framework: 

(1) that history goes on and on, to something 
different that may be better, not round and round 
in endless circlings to nowhere, nor with aimless' 


spasmodic explosions like a Mexican jumping bean 
. . . but on; 

(2) that it does not go of its own accord, but 
requires intelligent leadership and devoted follower- 
ship to make it go, and intelligently chosen objec- 
tives toward which to go ; 

(3) that new enterprises, or new phases of the 
one continuing great enterprise, demand new lead- 
ers with new insights and perhaps even new 
qualities, certainly with new ideas and methods; 

(4) that all the old resources, in so far as they 
are valid assets, must be carried over into each new 
age, so that the future may always have a rootage 
in the past. 

The main purpose of education, as an enterprise 
of social significance, is to make each on-coming 
generation at least as competent to handle the 
world's material and spiritual business in the com- 
ing days as the outgoing one was for its time. You 
may say that this is too low an aim; that the new 
generation, educated or not, could scarcely do worse 
than the old one, as witness the fix the world is in 
now. But — not so fast. I am willing to make an act 
of penitence for my ovv^n generation. It has not done 
too well. Certainly it has not fulfilled all the hopes 
and promises of its youth. With Kipling's return- 
ing voyagers, who lamented that they had so un- 
wisely chosen their cargoes from the riches of the 
Orient, we might say, in proper humility though 
with a slight exaggeration : 

Ah, fools were we, and blind. 

The worst we baled with utter care; 

The best we left behind. 
But, rather for undertaking than for extenuation, 
you must remember that my generation received 
from its predecessor a world distraught with un- 
solved problems, including the seeds and roots of 
those that we are handing over to you. There were 
heavy liabilities, as well as valuable assets, in our 


heritage, as these are in yours. 

Forty or fifty years ago we began to take over 
a world that seems pleasant and friendly enough, 
as we look back upon it from now, through the soft- 
ening haze of time. But it was a pleasant world 
only for those who were luckily situated in it. The 
reserved seats at that show were very comfortable, 
but general admission did not offer so many ad- 
vantages. The frontier was closed as of about 1890 ; 
immigrants were pouring in; the ethics of business 
was disgraceful; tensions in industry were acute; 
and nobody had the foggiest idea what to do about 
it except to let labor and capital fight it out — as they 
did. The strike and massacre at the Homestead steel 
mills occurred in the year of my graduation from 
Eureka College, the great and bloody Pullman strike 
in the year of my graduation from Yale. The great 
agrarian discontent, the uprising of the embittered 
(if not embattled) farmers against their financial 
masters came to a head in the Populist-Democratic 
coalition in the campaign of 1896, while I was a 
student in the Divinity School of the University of 
Chicago and the year before I took my Ph.D. and 
began to teach, with an appointment as an "Associ- 
ate in History" in the University and as "Instructor" 
in the Disciples Divinity House at a salary of noth- 
ing a year while I earned my living by doing news- 
paper work at night. Industrial and financial forces, 
accomplishing wonders in the development of the 
country, had got completely out of hand. Our fathers 
had inherited laissez faire as a slogan of democracy 
and equal opportunity, and had seen it become the 
method and bulwark of a new feudalism; and since 
they did not know what to do with it, they passed it 
on to us. Corporate enterprise, otherwise known 
as big business, like a Merovingian "Mayor of the 
Palace," had gone far toward thrusting aside the 
rightful ruler, the American people, and establish- 
ing a dynasty of its own. Any control of business 
was supposed to be an infringement of the free 


American's heaven-born and blood-boug'ht right to 
do what he pleased with his own money — or with 
anybody else's money that he could get his hands 
on. The church was, in the main, silent about all 
this, except that a few prophetic voices were raised 
in behalf of a gospel which would include social 
and economic justice, but they were considered crazy 
fanatics or dangerous extremists — and no wonder, 
Vv^hen Tom Watson and his eleven Populist associates 
in the Congress of 1892 were deemed red revolution- 
aries, communists and anarchists for advocating a 
graduated income tax and popular election of sena- 
tors. Respectable churchmen, like the editors of 
the best religious papers and the pastors of the big 
city churches, urged employers to be kind and gener- 
ous masters (as southern preachers a generation 
earlier had urged their slave-owning members to 
be), and had no word for labor except a stern warn- 
ing that its efforts for betterment must be strictly 
within the law and must never disturb public order 
or private rights. Only a few years earlier — my 
father was only nine years out of a Union cavalry 
major's uniform when I was born — the nation had 
got rid of slavery, at the cost of four years of civil 
war and a bungled process of reconstruction which 
was a nightmare for the South and a vicious politi- 
cal influence in the North, the repercussions of 
which are with us yet in bitterness and sectionalism 
and racial issues still far from solution. The nineties 
were really not so gay. 

But Europe, you say, must have been better — 
Europe, so lovely to visit, with its music and art, 
its stately cities and glorious architecture, its friend- 
ly villagers and happy peasants. As a young fellow 
I bicycled over Europe summer after summer, from 
Naples to Trondhjem, from Land's End to Odessa. 
As an experience, it was glorious — the best part of 
my education. But — happy peasants? Why do you 
suppose so many of them came to America, as they 
did by millions? Mostly because of hunger. And the 


underlying causes of the First World War were 
building up, unseen, like storm clouds so low on the 
horizon that an occasional flash of lightning from 
their thunderheads seemed only to accentuate the 
beauty and peacefu'lness of the scene. Europe had a 
greater accumulation of problems than we bad, and 
was even less prepared to make adaptation to the 
new factors that had come into civilization with the 
nineteenth century and were to come increasingly in 
the twentieth. 

That was just the trouble. There were new factors 
— in industrial production, in financial organization, 
in transportation and communication, and in the 
spread of democratic ideas and new concepts of the 
rights of man. We, in my generation, suffered from 
the back-fire of a progress that had produced prob- 
lems faster than it could solve them. For progress 
often produces two problems in solving one. 

The church also had its own internal difficulties 
growing out of the impact of modern thought. It 
had barely emerged, troubled but triumphant thanks 
to ingenious devices of exegesis, from the seeming 
conflict between Genesis and geology, when Evolu- 
tion and Higher Criticism became new dragons in 
its path. I think you will not be unreasonably 
generous if you credit my generation with having 
fairly domesticated these dragons and broken them 
to the service of the faith. It was no small achieve- 
ment and you should be grateful for it, though there 
are, of course, great areas of the church which have 
not yet accepted these liberalizing concepts. 

The church of the last half of the nineteenth 
century was divided into competitive and contentious 
sects, each of which was anxious to get in on the 
ground floor in the newly settled western lands and 
in the rapidly growing cities. In this race for de- 
nominational empire, old antipathies gained new 
fervor. The dominant note was "rivalry" which, 
at its best, could only be interpreted as "provoking 
one another to good works." Certainly the denomi- 


nations provoked one another. As acrimony di- 
minished, with the development of more urbane 
manners, and under the influence of such coopera- 
tive enterprises as the Y.M.C.A., the International 
Sunday School Association, union evangelism, Chris- 
tian Endeavor and the Student Volunteer Move- 
ment, denominationalism entered a stage of com- 
placency. The church was satisfied with its divided 
state. The usual pious formula was that the differ- 
ent denominations were so many regiments in the 
army of the Lord. I heard that a thousand times, 
in the days of my youth, on all sorts of occasions 
where courtesy required an exchange of friendly 
gestures between denominations. The fact that these 
"regiments" had no common strategy, no consistent 
plan of campaign, and that they used much of their 
ammunition in shooting at each other, did not reveal 
to these speakers the fallacy of their favorite meta- 
phor. I am happy to say that this futile formula 
was never heard on the lips of a Disciple. With 
all their faults — and they were many — they knew 
better than that. They had come into existence to 
plead for the union of all Christians in an undivided 
church on the basis of loyalty to Christ and liberty 
of opinion. They may have erred in mistaking 
some of their opinions for fundamentals of Christian 
faith and practice. Further study in the light of 
modern knowledge and in accordance with their own 
principles would correct that, and has already gone 
far toward correcting it. But never, in their dark- 
est days, were they guilty of complacency about 
the disunity of the church. 

My generation has been a period of great advance 
in the general movement tow^ard Christian unity and 
cooperation. (I hope somebody will carry on the 
course which I have been teaching on that subject 
for the past twenty years and more.) That move- 
ment began with the emphasis on the "social gospel," 
which is not the whole gospel but happens to be 
the part of it about which the denominations had 


never formulated contradictory views when their 
dogmas were being crystalized. When the churches 
looked outdoors and discovered the human race, they 
found a whole range of human needs and Christian 
duties which their creeds did not touch. In con- 
sidering how they might minister to these needs, 
they began insensibly to draw together. New knowl- 
edge of the nature of the Bible, more intelligent 
understanding of the nature and history of religion, 
the shift from tradition and authority to scientific 
method and rational procedure in religious thought 
— all marshalled them in the same direction. I omit 
all the details to say, in brief, that in the accelerated 
drive toward cooperation and unity among the 
churches, you have a great heritage. 

I am thankful for one thing that my generation 
inherited from the Victorians and which it passes 
on to you — a little tarnished perhaps, but still serv- 
iceable and, I am persuaded, the most indispensable 
item in our equipment, or yours. I mean faith in 
the possibility of progress. The Victorians have 
been much maligned for their alleged "romantic 
optimism." It is true that they did not know how 
much rough water v^as ahead. One never does. True, 
the newly discovered principles of evolution seemed 
to assure them that the cosmos has an upward direc- 
tion. I think it has. But it is not true that they 
rested complacently on faith in "the inevitability 
of progress" in the sense that the world would roll 
on to glory by the resident forces which produced 
evolution and carry them with it while they sat 
with folded hands. Darwin certainly had no such 
illusion, and he ought to have known about evolution. 
He did not even wait for a knowledge of evolution 
to evolve automatically, but toiled like a slave to 
collect and collate his facts. The Victorians were, 
in general, hard workers. Their optimism was a 
faith that this is the kind of universe in which in- 
telligent effort brings desirable results; in which 
he who works, wins; in which there is a certain 


grain in the structure of thing's which favors suc- 
cess for those who work with it for progress and 
the improvement of their own fortunes and the 
social order — as a man splitting a log doesn't expect 
it to fall apart at a wish or a wave of the hand, 
but does expect the grain of the wood to reinforce 
the blow of his axe, if he is working with the grain. 
Perhaps they did not realize how crooked the grain 
can be, or how many knots there are in the timber 
of destiny. They certainly measured results by a 
too materialistic and too individualistic scale. But 
certainly they did not expect the fruits of progress 
to drop into their laps without effort. They only 
believed that there were fruits to be got. And they 
toiled terribly to build the modern world of scien- 
tific knowledge and industrial skills and freer 
governments and more intelligent religion than man 
had known before. Let us beware how we accept 
the results of their labor and scorn the faith that 
made it possible. 

When our fathers tamed the wilderness and built 
cities, when they planted fields and raised corn, and 
planted homes and raised us, and when they built 
churches and schools and colleges and founded re- 
search laboratories and symphony orchestras and 
wrote books and painted pictures — they were say- 
ing to themselves, to each other and to the world: 
''This country has a future. Humanity has a future." 
That was their creed, their star of hope. It was 
that faith that made them men of oak and granite 
and steel. 

Never mind how many problems we are bequeath- 
ing to you. I was going to list some of them, but 
there is no time; some of them are all too obvious 
and you will find the others soon enough. Neither 
will I list the achievements of my generation which 
become the heritage of yours. I am prepared to 
argue, not in self-defense but on my conscience as 
a historian, that during the past forty or fifty years 
there has been a substantial amount of advance in 


some really important matters. But our progress 
has come very near to ruining us, and this is the 
world we are handing over to you. I am glad of it, 
for I don't believe we could ever straighten it out. 
A new age requires new leadership. The enterprise 
of making religion effective in the world of the next 
forty years and relevant to its needs is as adventur- 
ous and unprecedented as that which Joshua took 
up when Moses ended his work on the bank of the 
Jordan. Some things must be carried across the 
river. The Ten Commandments were not left be- 
hind. There are some sound principles and great 
traditions in our heritage. They are your resources. 
But tomorrow's task is a new one. It is yours. It is 
worth doing, and it can be done. Now, therefore, 
arise, go over this Jordan. 


Monday, August 2, 9 :30 p.m. 

Communion Service. Led by Warren Grafton. 
Tuesday, 2 p.m. 

A Review of Garnett's 'A Realistic Philosophy of 
Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. 

President's Address. Perry Gresham. 
Business, appointment of committees. 
Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. 

What Contribution have the Disciples to make to 
the present Christian unity movement? 
Thursday, 2 p.m. 

The Impact of the War on Religious Thought. 
A. C. Garnett. 

Thursday, 6:30. Annual Dinner. 
Friday, 2 p.m. 

A Review of Bower's "Christ and Religious Edu- 

Religious Education and Public Education. 


The Frontier Mind 

By W. C. BOWER, 
Disciples Divinity House Convocation, June 13, 1943 

The Disciples of Christ are one of two major re- 
ligious bodies that have had their origin and devel- 
opment wholly on American soil. For this reason 
the Disciples differ in certain important respects 
from those communions, both Catholic and Protes- 
tant, that had their origin in Europe and brought 
with them a heritage of European thought and life. 


Not only were the Disciples indigenous to the soil 
from which sprang the new experiment in American 
democracy, but their historic development was co- 
extensive with the expansion of the American 
frontier that played so large a part in shaping the 
American mind and the American way of life. In 
the formative influence of the frontier the Disciples 
fully shared. Their orientation toward religion, 
their attitudes, their beliefs, and their practices 
were largely fashioned by it. The marks of the 
trek across the mountain passes and the trackless 
plains is still upon them. The tang of the wilder- 
ness and of the newly turned prairie sod is in their 
veins. The spirit of the adventurous pioneer as he 
faced the frontier of an empty continent is their 
heritage. In their revolt, not only against Catholic- 
ism, but against European-bred sectarian Protes- 
tanism, they felt themselves to be the Protestants 
of Protestants. In a similar sense they may be said 
in many ways to be the American communion among 
American communions. 

Any historical movement is complex and the re- 
sult of the interaction of many social forces. It 
must not, therefore, be oversimplified. Neverthe- 
less, one who is familiar with Disciple history does 
not find it difficult to identify certain characteristics 
of Disciple thought and life that are directly trace- 
able to the influence of the frontier. The citation 


of a few illustrations will show how great that in- 
fluence was. 

One of these characteristics is the radical indi- 
vidualism of Disciples. They absorbed into their 
religious life the independence and self-sufficiency 
of the pioneer settler who with his own hands hewed 
a clearing in the forest, built his log cabin, and 
planted a patch of grain, far removed in many in- 
stances from the nearest neighbor. Here, in his 
isolation with his little family, he was on his own, 
coping with cold, hunger, and disease with his own 
unaided resources. Until settlements sprang up about 
him, his only altar was the family altar, his only law 
his own conscience, and his only defense his trusted 
rifle and powder-horn. Out of such frontier con- 
ditions were born the independence, initiative, and 
resourcefulness that have been so distinctive of the 
American type. 

This individualism has shown itself in Disciple 
attitudes of personal and congregational independ- 
ence and autonomy. Deep in the Disciple heart is 
an inbred fear of ecclesiastical authority and cen- 
tralized control. It has frequently been said by our 
religious neighbors that Disciples are always willing 
to co-operate provided they do not see a halter. This 
individualism has frequently become vocal and some- 
times violent in factional disputes within the 
Brotherhood. Even after more than a century and 
a quarter of history there is still a considerable body 
among the Disciples who are opposed to any organ- 
ized elfort except an organization to oppose organ- 

Another characteristic of the Disciples which had 
its roots in the soil of the frontier has been their 
non-theological and non-ecclesiastical attitude toward 
religion. The Founding Fathers pled for the rejec- 
tion of the theological accretions of eighteen centu- 
ries and for a return to the simple teachings of Jesus 
and the Apostles. They insisted that there should 
be nothing in either faith or practice for which 


there was not a "thus saith the Lord" or an approved 
New Testament precedent. They believed that the 
common man could read and fully understand the 
plain teachings of the Bible. It was not uncommon 
for the plowman at the end of his furrow to take 
his New Testament from his pocket and ponder its 
messag-e. The abhorrence by the early Disciples 
of ecclesiasticism led to an anti-clericalism that re- 
pudiated all such titles as "Reverend" and "Doctor." 
I recall with considerable amusement that as a 
minister at the age of nineteen I was consistently 
addressed as "Elder." The ordination of ministers 
as well as seminary education are late developments 
among Disciples. The early Disciples looked upon 
both Protestant and Catholic theology and ecclesi- 
asticism as the "Babylon" out of which they had 
been called. 

Closely related to the non-theological and non- 
ecclesiasticM attitude of the Disciples toward re- 
ligion is another which was greatly influenced by 
the frontier — the emphasis which they have placed 
■upon the laity. Most of the early preaching was 
done by farmers who tilled their soil during the 
week and preached on the Lord's Day to fellow tillers 
of the soil. Some of the Fathers believed that the 
minister should receive no salary, but, like Paul, 
should make his living by secular occupation. All 
Disciples regarded themselves as qualified priests 
and prophets of God. 

Still another characteristic that derived from ex- 
perience on the frontier was the "common-sense" 
view which the Disciples have held of religion. 
In this they were profoundly influenced by the same 
intellectual and social forces that gave rise to the 
indigenous American philosophy of pragmatism and 
experimentalism. They regarded the way of salva- 
tion as a simple and direct process by which one 
enters into the "covenanted mercies" of God through 
simple promises to be believed and simple command- 
ments to be obeyed, devoid of cataclysmic emotional 


or mystical experiences. At more sophisticated sub- 
sequent levels this simple, "common-sense" view of 
religion lives on in an empirical and functional con- 
cept of religion grounded in man's interaction with 
his natural and social world. 

In a similar way the Disciple plea for the union 
of all Christians was profoundly influenced by the 
spirit of co-operation among pioneers. It was in 
such a frontier community in Pennsylvania that 
Thomas Campbell invited other scattered pioneers 
to join in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. It 
was through this generous gesture of fellowship that 
Campbell was brought into violent conflict with 
theological dogma and ecclesiastical authority. This 
conflict resulted in his withdrawal under censure 
from the Presbyterian Church and the eventual, 
formulation of the basis of a plea to all Christians 
to unite on the basis of the New Testament. 

From the beginning there have been two streams 
of thought that have shaped the history of the Disci- 
ples. One was the influence of the frontier with its 
realism, empiricism, and experimentalism. The other 
was a rigid and legalistic conservatism that stemmed 
from orthodox influences. This conflict between 
liberalism and conservatism, which lies deep in the 
heart of Protestantism, the Disciples inherited. The 
Disciples have never resolved this conflict. It has 
often been bitter. But, strong as the conservative 
tendency has been, it has never been able to quench 
the liberal spirit. Once powerful, chiefly through its 
press, conservatism has given ground before the 
liberal trend, so that gradually the creative leader- 
ship of the communion may be said to have passed 
into liberal hands. This trend is in keeping with 
the deeper intellectual, social, and religious forces 
that have shaped the Disciple mind. The liberal tra- 
dition is the essential Disciple heritage with which 
the communion faces the issues of the intellectual 
and social world of the middle twentieth century. In 
the further extension of this heritage lies the future 


of the Disciples — in the more thoroughgoing appli- 
cation of the empirical, experimental, and functional 
method to the social and religious problems of our 


One of the problems that now confront the Disci- 
ples is whether, now that the original frontier has 
disappeared, they will be able to maintain the essen- 
tial qualities of the frontier mind. Or will they, 
through adaptation to settled community life and an 
industriaJl and technological economy, regress from 
a dynamic and creative to an adaptive quality of 
mind and settle down to a denominational stereo- 
type? Or will they have the insight and sensitivity 
to perceive that there are emerging new intellectual, 
social, and spiritual frontiers even more challenging 
to imagination, adventure, and creativity than was 
the original frontier? 

Before our generation a new intdlectual frontier 
has been opened up by the advancement of science. 
As a result of the application of the method and 
results of science to experience, new insights are 
being gained into the nature of reality undreamed 
of by our Fathers in the faith. These insights are 
of high religious potential. Thus far, however, the 
church cannot be said on the whole to have come 
to terms either with the empirical facts of science 
or with science as a method of thought. Far more 
than should be, the church is still relying upon 
traditional theological terms and structures of 
thought that grew up in a pre-scientific past to deal 
with experience in the modern world. As a result, 
the thinking of the church has little effective influ- 
ence upon the vigorous intellectual life of our time, 
while at the same time its own thinking is too little 
affected by the discoveries of science which the 
church tends to regard as only secular and therefore 
inimical to religion. No greater opportunity or re- 
sponsibility confronts the church of our generation 
than to discover and interpret the religious sig- 


nificance of science as a body of tested knowledge 
and as a method for dealing realistically with the 
issues of experience in the modern world. 

Before our generation has arisen a new social 
frontier involving the understanding and organiza- 
tion of human relations. Our civilization has 
achieved brilliant success in dealing with the forces 
of the natural world, but it has scarcely made a be- 
ginning in understanding, much less in managing, 
the massive social forces of our human world. On 
this frontier lie the major social problems of our 
day — problems of the production and distribution 
of goods, race and cultural relations, education, the 
rights of the common man, and war. No sensitive 
observer of the vast and complex forces that are 
shaping history in our day can escape the convic- 
tion that we are witnessing the passing of an old 
order and the birth of a new world. The war is 
forcing us to rethink the ends of social living and 
in particular the implications of democracy in terms 
of social justice and opportunity for the common 
man. Before us immediately after the decision of 
arms lies the most herculean task that has con- 
fronted any generation of living men — the laying 
of the structural foundations of a new world order 
that will no longer be national, but planetary, in 
scope. For such an unprecedented task we have yet 
to acquire the intellectual, emotional, and technical 

Not least of these new frontiers is that which rises 
immediately before the church itself. It is the task 
of re-interpreting our Christian heritage of faith in 
terms of the nature and function of religion in re- 
lation to contemporary culture. Enshrined in that 
heritage are enduring insights and convictions that 
are as relevant to the modern world as they were 
to any historic period of Christianity. But they are 
for the most part embedded in dated thought-forms 
and formulas that have no meaning or relevancy in 
our day. These enduring values need to be disen- 


gaged from their historic forms and released for 
use in contemporary living. Because the church is 
attempting to interpret religion and carry on its 
work in terms of outmoded theological concepts and 
ecclesiastical arrangements, it has to a considerable 
extent lost its articulation with the great movements 
of thought and life in the experience of the com- 
mon man. As a result, a great gulf has grown up 
between the church and the so-called "secular" 
worid. If the church is to re-establish a functional 
relation with the intellectual and social forces that 
are shaping the world of our day, it must subject 
itself to thorough re-examination and return from 
tradition to the basic facts of current social ex- 
perience where God is now at work as much as in 
any period in the past, and where history is in the 
making. This means the fearless reinterpretation 
of Christian faith in the light of new insights and 
the growing values of the common life. 

The future vitality and usefulness of the Disciples 
lie in their sensitiveness to these new frontiers and 
in their bringing to bear upon them a free, empirical, 
and adventurous spirit. Here are unexplored con- 
tinents of the mind and of the spirit that demand 
the frontier mind even more than the taming of 
the wilderness. 


The University of Chicago, of which the Disciples 
Divinity House is a part, is in a unique sense a 
frontier institution. It was founded on the frontier 
hy a genius gifted with the initiative,, imagination, 
and resourcefulness of the frontier mind. The Uni- 
versity has never been content merely to pass on 
the accumulated traditions of the past. As no other 
American university, it has dedicated itself to re- 
search on the outermost boundaries of knowledge 
and achievement. It is significant of its adventurous 
spirit that at the celebration of its Fiftieth Anni- 
versary it was not content to review its distinguished 


past, but set its face to the future under the slogan, 
"New Frontiers." 

It is in this atmosphere of a liberal, dynamic, and 
creative university that the Disciples House has from 
the beginning worked within the liberal tradition 
which the Disciples inherited from their frontier 
origins. You who go forth from the House and the 
University into responsible positions of leadership 
go with the heritage of the frontier mind. It devolves 
upon you to be as sensitive to the possibilities and 
challenge of the new frontiers of our generation as 
our Fathers were to the possibilities and challenge 
of the frontier of their day! Herein lies, not only 
the distinctive contribution of the Disciples to Amer- 
ican religious life of the twentieth century, but your 
own contribution in the places of responsibility in 
which you will serve. 

Statement at Ordination 

By Harry F. Corbin, Jr. 
A candidate for ordination is given an opportunity 
to express his attitude toward the religious life, to 
explain his position briefly and perhaps describe 
what ordination means to him. This is especially 
welcomed. The association enjoyed with the men in 
the Disciples House has been one of the most re- 
freshing experiences I have known. Having pre- 
viously revolted from a stereotyped and formalized 
religion, refuge was sought and found in a complete 
and thoroughgoing Humanism. That philosophy 
contained all the ideal strivings of man for a full 
and more secure life, with a special stress on in- 
telligence and science. It seemed to express beau- 
tifully what had been clumsily felt for some time. 
But Humanism is farther down the road. The great 
majority of our people is oriented about the Chris- 
tian tradition and is responsive only as its past ex- 
periences are synchronized to the present and car- 
ried forward creatively into the future. This inte- 
grating and revitalizing task the Disciples have set 


for themselves. The manner in which they are do- 
ing it shows an appreciation and awareness of the 
finest things in our Christian heritage, with an 
equally dlear perspective on the use to which knowl- 
edge and science should be put. It is this under- 
taking which is so challenging, and which to join, is 
so refreshing. 

Characteristically enough, in this institution we 
do not have to agree on anything dogmatic. In fact 
we do not even seek agreement on fundamental be- 
liefs. T. V. Smith has said that "democracy does not 
require, or permit, agreement on fundamentals." 
Since we would equate the truly dogmatic and the 
religious life this is further evidence that in the 
realm of belief intellectual unity is neither desirable 
nor fruitful. Each man will ordinarily define and 
interpret differently, and to insist on doctrinal 
agreement would, under these circumstances, force 
beliefs on at least half of the participants. No — 
we do not agree on fundamentals in the realm of 
belief — but we can, nevertheless, and do, join in a 
common pursuit, a common quest of the better in 
whatever area of life it lies. 

In the light of this approach, ordination means 
at least this to me : It is a dedication and commit- 
ment to join this search for the better — to aid in 
actualizing as many of our constructive goals as 
humanly possible. The particular pledge, or so it 
seems to me, is to keep the ideal life before us — to 
portray in poetry, prose and song the grandeur and 
satisfaction of lives oriented about the realization 
of the highest values. To present the conflicts of 
life in intdligible form, to frame the difficult issues 
so that decisions of quality may be made against a 
background sensitized to the deep hungerings of 
man — this too is included and symbolized here. 

The initial impulse for such a dedication of ener- 
gies usually comes from one's early home life, and 
this is so in my case. We feel a particular appre- 
ciation of those who gave us our start and made us 


aware of the truly significant issues. This sensitive- 
ness, this real quality about the home, is later ex- 
panded to encompass a larger scene. It may become, 
as in this instance, an expression of loyalty to the 
spirit and ideals of Jesus as a beautiful representa- 
tion in our western culture of a near-perfect syn- 
thesis of thought and action. Wherever this story 
is reviewed, wherever his exemplary life is evalu- 
ated, it operates as an integrating force, occasions a 
re-affirmation of ends, and a seeking of something 
better than that which normally surrounds us. The 
Church is the agency which serves this function, and 
only as it succeeds in keeping before us the attitude 
toward life maintained by the man of Nazareth will 
we move "toward the fulfillment of life generously 
and nobly conceived." 

Ordination means this and more. It will always 
highlight an association with such men as Dr. Bower, 
Dr. Garrison, and Dr. Ames. They are trail-blazers 
in free thought. They have shown that the religious 
and the social values are one ; that a functional view 
of religion may serve all mankind, be inclusive — not 
exclusive, as is a formalized and intolerant concep- 
tion. These men, along with Dr. Blakemore and Dr. 
Lunger have fully demonstrated the synonymous 
character of religion and a full, happy and con- 
structive life. It is entering into such a stream of 
thought, into such an association of men which is 
symbolized here. 

The imaginative outreach of human beings is un- 
limited. We want to encourage this tendency and 
help dramatize it. We want also to help channelize 
the basic desire drives of men ; to discern the factors 
in our experiences which make for satisfactory rela- 
tionships, and to share whatever awareness of the 
noble and enriching qualities of life we may have 
developed. These things represent some of the tasks 
to be done. Ordination seems to signify the oppor- 
tunity an individual has to contribute full time and 
energy toward the actualizing of the "Four Free- 
doms" for all mankind. 


An Ordmateon Charge 

Bij E. S. Ames 

Mr. Corbin, on behalf of the ministers and church 
members here present, and on behalf of those who 
share their faith, I welcome you into the Christian 
ministry. You have a right to believe that today 
you enter publicly and with high social approval 
upon the noblest vocation of man. It is the consum- 
mation, as you have said, of early influences in child- 
hood and of maturing reflection in years of study 
and growing knowledge. The greatness of the min- 
istry lies in the quality of life which it seeks and 
cultivates. This quality of life is essential to the 
achievement of the best things in every sphere of 
life. It is the quality of love, of good will, which at 
its best is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. 
Without it languages are empty, knowledge is vain, 
and all forms of giving gifts are as nothing. It is 
love of fellow man, or its absence, that makes the 
differences between a place in the sun and a place 
in darkness in the great judgment days of the world. 
The minister's vocation is to show by word and deed 
that this mutual respect of human beings for one 
another, this devotion to the point of laying down 
one's life for a friend, is essential to the greatest 
efficiency in commonplace tasks. Business cannot 
succeed without goodwill and trust, science cannot 
gain significant meaning except as its insight and 
creations minister to human welfare, art does not 
get beyond dilletantism until it is permeated by some 
deep seriousness and consequence. Our economics, 
our social sciences, our technologies^ our greatest 
organizations of men and power, fall short of their 
possibilities when they are not instruments for the 
furtherance of human values which the best of men 
seek and cherish. As Edwin Markham has said: 

We are blind until we see 
That in the human plan, 


Nothing is worth the making, if 
It does not make the man. 

Why build these cities glorious 
If man unbuilded goes? 
In vain we build the world unless 
The builder also grows. 

By entering upon the ministry you participate in a 
great historical and mystical movement which is 
among human affairs like a growing gulf-stream in 
the vast ocean. It is in this world but not merely 
of it. This gulf -stream widens and deepens as suc- 
cessive generations of devoted souls give themselves 
to it. Their intelligent and aspiring devotion is 
creative. God needs even us. As a poet has said 

By your souls' travail, your own noble scorn, 
Perchance, ye that toil on, though forlorn 
The very God you crave is being born. 

The Philosopher, William James, rightly encour- 
ages us to believe that "our faith beforehand in an 
uncertified result is the only thing that makes the 
result come true." . . . "God himself may draw vital 
strength and increase of very being from our fidel- 
ity. For my own part, I do not know what the sweat 
and blood and tragedy of this life mean, if they mean 
anything short of this . . . (Life) feels like a real 
fight — as if there were something really wild in 
the universe which we, with all our idealities and 
faithfulnesses, are needed to redeem; and first of 
all to redeem our own hearts from atheisms and 
fears . . . Believe that life is worth living, and your 
belief will help create the fact." 

The Apostle Paul said, "We are labourers together 
with God." If that is really true then we are in some 
degree creators of the world. Our sowing and plant- 
ing and watering has something to do with the in- 
crease and with the harvest. Occasionally a Chris- 
tian man has opportunity to see this divine partner- 


ship in operation. When a minister knows that some 
word he has spoken has turned a human life from 
despair to fruitful hope, or that the church he has 
fostered has become a regugee or a lighthouse for 
lost and drifting souls, then he knows what it is to 
share in the labors of God. 

Saint Paul was a man of great energy and tre- 
mendous enthusiasm and therefore two warnings 
he gave Christians need to be remembered. Prob- 
ably he learned both of them from his Greek en- 
vironment. One of these was that zeal should be 
according to knowledge. Nothing is more needed in 
the ministry today than zeal according to knowledge. 
The one without the other is not so difficult, but 
zeal runs toward fanaticism, and knowledge tends 
to paralysis of zeal. The great apostle said he would 
rather speak five words with the understanding than 
ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. The 
other word he magnified was patience. When a 
minister is devoted and urgent about his work he 
is often troubled by the slow of heart about him, 
and by the indifference and even opposition of those 
whom he thinks should support his efforts. Then 
he must take the long view, even when his heart 
seems breaking with discouragement. He should 
reflect upon the long way it is up from the beggarly 
elements of this world to the heights of Christ's 
faith and hope for the coming of the kingdom of 
heaven. Of the great saints of the church, it is said 
these are they who came up through great tribula- 
tions. When the terrible clouds of war are over the 
fair earth and men devour one another and drench 
the fields with blood and thus make the kingdom of 
peace and love seem so remote if not impossible, the 
minister needs to remember the longsuffering pa- 
tience of God. Life is often sad and tragic, but to 
the Christian minister tragedy never should be the 
last word. Jesus himself was an optimist in the 
midst of human ills. He lived in the vision of a great 
hope which filled him with joy even on the eve of 


his crucifixion. He believed that his spirit would 
rise from every seeming defeat and continue to find 
men who would proclaim his gospel of love and re- 
demption, and multitudes of followers who would be 
faithful to his cause. 

You are entering today upon a great adventure. 
It is the marvelous cosmic romance of the human 
spirit. In confirmation of this conviction, I read in 
reverse order three sentences from the eighth chap- 
ter of the Letter to the Romans : "We know that all 
creation has been groaning in agony until now .. . . 
For creation is waiting with eager longing for the 
sons of God to be disclosed . . . For I consider what 
we suffer now not to be compared with the glory 
that is to burst upon us." It was in the thought 
of such a triumph and issue of his teaching that the 
heart of Jesus was filled with joy. He prayed that 
his followers might have that joy fulfilled in them- 
selves. And so I pray for you today that you may 
know this joy and have it fulfilled through years of 
a rich and fruitful ministry. 

Two Benjamin Franklins 

By Charels S. Lobingier 
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 

Eighteenth and Locust Sts., Philadelphia, Pa. 

The April "Scroll", with its wealth of good ma- 
terial, especially the "leader" by Dr. Ames and Mr. 
Gardner's article on L. L. Pinkerton, revived 
memories of other liberals of whom I learned as a 
growing lad in a devout Disciple family of the mid- 
dle west. The Christian Standard, then considered 
the organ of the denomination's progressive wing, 
was a welcome visitor to our household and its edi- 
tor, Isaac Errett, to whom Mr. Gardner gives "the 
greatest credit," opened its columns to these "here- 
tics" of the late 19th century. W. H. Woollery con- 


tributed a series of articles on "The Higher Criti- 
cism of the Old Testament" — very fair and inform- 
ing and giving me my first introduction to that im- 
portant subject (I still have them) ; George E. 
Flower w^rote frequently on Protestant Reformation 
leaders and Robert T. Matthews, who had consid- 
erable literary talent was a frequent contributor. 
Nor should I overlook the historian, Burke A. Hins- 
dale, friend of Garfield, nor the Christian Quarterly, 
which was a very creditable religious review during 
the whole of its brief period of publication. 

But there was another and much larger segment 
of the denomination which had no part in, nor use 
for, this liberal movement. Its organ was the 
American Christian Revieiv, founded in 1856 and 
published, like the Standard at Cincinnati, which 
appears to have been the Antioch of the modem 
Disciples. These conservatives opposed instru- 
mental music in churches, baptisteries and other 
modern conveniences and indeed, according to the 
Dictionary of American Biography", "everything 

The editor of the review was Benjamin Franklin 
(1812-1878) whom I shall hereafter designate as 
Benjamin Franklin II. I used to wonder whether 
he were related to the famous man who figured in 
our family tradition. For my great, great grand- 
father was a member of Pennsylvania's First Con- 
stitutional Convention (1776) over which Benjamin 
Franklin I presided, and thus my ancestor came to 
know him personally and he became a sort of fam- 
ily hero so that nearly every succeeding generation 
thereof has had a member named for him. It was 
not until I came to Philadelphia (where our Com- 
mission is located "for the duration") where Frank- 
lin reminders abound and where I found new 
material for study of the great Franklin's religion, 
that I learned the relationship between these two 

iVol. VI, p. 598. 


Franklins. Benjamin II was a lineal descendant 
of Benjamin I's brother John.^ 

Now the Franklin family had always been not only 
religious but independent and Benjamin I followed 
the family tradition in both respects. Two mono- 
graphs have been written on his religion — one by 
a Unitarian minister^ and the other by a Baptist'^ 
The latter seems the more favorable to the great 
Franklin but it is rather surprising to note how 
nearly his views fit into the "fourteen points of good 
Disciple teaching" as enumerated by Dr. Ames. Let 
us quote some of them : 

(2) "An American movement, beginning in 
America and imbued with American democracy." 

Benjamin Franklin I was the first American of 
whom I have been able to find any record, who broke 
early with the traditional forms of orthodoxy and 
maintained that position throughout his life. When 
he died (at 84) still mentally vigorous, Alexander 
Campbell, then in Ulster, was less than two years 
old. Jefferson, now so frequently mentioned as an 
early American religious liberal, was more than 37 
years Franklin's junior and claimed to be his dis- 
ciple. Priestley and Paine,-^ both Englishmen, were 
nearly as much younger and learned from Frank- 
lin.^ He was America's pioneer modernist. 

(3) "Have no official theology, no creed, no 


3Lyttle, Charles, 'Benjamin's Change from Radicalism to 
Conservatism in Religious Thought, Meadville Theological 
School Quarterly Bulletin, XXII, 3-20 (Chicago, 1928), a 
scholarly paper, read before the Chicago Church History 
Club, and contains five and one-half pages of notes. 

4Stifler, J. J., The Religion of Benjamin Franklin (N.Y., 

^See Franklin's "Letter dissuading (Paine) from publish- 
ing his Piece" (Presumably his "Age of Reason") which was 
not published until 1794, although this letter appears to have 
been written in 1786. See Smyth, Writings of Benjamin 
Franklin (1906) IX, 520-522). 


On this point Dr. Stifler says of Benjamin 
Franklin I: 

"It matters little that he would not subscribe to 
the creeds of his day — creeds now mostly discarded 
by the descendants of those who formed them; he 
did subscribe to the creed of Micah."*^ 

"The Dunkers" objected (to publishing- a creed) 
saying that they hoped for still further disclosures 
of truth and that if they were to print their con- 
fession of faith they might feel themselves bound 
and confined by it. This attitude greatly impressed 
Franklin; so much so that he wrote: 'This modesty 
in a sect is perhaps the singular instance in the his- 
tory of mankind ; every other sect, supposing itself 
in possession of all truth and that those who dif- 
fer are so far in the wrong — like a man travelling 
in foggy weather ; those at some distance before him 
on the road, he sees wrapped in the fog, as well as 
those behind him and also people in the fields on 
each side ; but near him all appear clear, tho in truth 
he is as much in the fog as any of them."''' 

Fay,^ a French Catholic, wrote of this same 
Franklin : 

"He was particularly struck with the wisdom of 
Moravians in never committing their creed to writ- 
ing; they could thus constantly better it and would 
never be embarrassed later by its rigidity." 

(8) "Reasonable interpretation of scriptures, at- 
tending to authorship, purpose, dates of all writ- 

Like L. L. Pinkerton^ Franklin I rejected "the 
theories of plenary inspiration and Biblical infalli- 
bility." On August 21, 1784, he wrote'" to Priestley : 

^Ante n. 4 at p. 118. 
7/6. 44. 

SFranklin, the Apostle of Modern Times (1929) p. 253. 
9The Scroll, XL, 236. 

loSmyth, ante n. 5 at IX, 266-7. Capitalization and spell- 
ing are Franklin's. 


"I agree v^^ith you in Sentiments concerning the 
Old Testament and thought the clause in our (Pa.) 
Constitution which required the members of Assem- 
bly to declare their belief that the whole of it was 
given by divine Inspiration, had better have been it 
omitted. . . . There are several Things in the Old I 
Testament, impossible to have been given by divine 
Inspiration ; such as the approbation ascribed to the 
Angel of the Lord, of that abominably wicked and 
detestable action of Jael, the wife of Heber, the Ken- 
ite (Judges, IV). If the rest of the book were like 
that, I should rather suppose it given by Inspiration 
from another quarter." 

(9) "Neither trinitarian nor unitarian but hold- 
ing the Christlikeness of God." 

On June 3, 1753, Franklin I wrote^*^: to Joseph 

"Your great Master thought much less of these 
outward appearances and Professions than many of 
his modern Disciples. He preferred the Doers of the 
word to the meer (sic) Hearers . . . He profes'd that 
he came not to call the Righteous but Sinners to re- 
pentance; which imp'ly'd his modest Opinion, that 
there were some in his time so good that they need 
not hear even him for Improvement." 

And on March 9, 1790, little more than a month 
before his death, he wrote^- to President Stiles of 
Yale College : 

"As Jesus of Nazareth ... I have, with most of 
the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as 
to his Divinity; tho it is a question I do not dog- 
matize upon, having never studied it and think it 
needless to busy myself with it now when I expect 
soon an opportunity to know the truth with less 

(14) "Renaissance spirit, free, humanitarian, sci- 

1/6. Ill, 145-6. 
12/6. X, 84. 


Benjamin Franklin I was (though perhaps un- 
consciously) a child of the Rennaisance, contacting 
and absorbing the best thought of his time^^. 
After quoting "a clause from the Athanasian creed," 
Stifler^^ says, 

"The imagination staggers at the attempt to con- 
ceive of Franklin's trying to say 'Credo' to that. The 
Deists simply revolted at anything of the kind and 
proceeded to express religion in terms of the new 
and reasonable universe in which they found them- 
selves. Rapid advance had been made in scientific 
knowledge. The world was no longer flat but 
placed securely in a revolving universe. The fas- 
cinating discoveries of Newton and others in the 
sphere of natural science had swept miracles entire- 
ly away (Italics mine; remember it is a Baptist 
minister who writes this). The Bible was no longer 
conceived of as a magic book. Orthodoxy taught a 
conception of inspiration that made every biblical 
writer little more than an acquiescent amanuensis 
and the results of his writing were providentially 
preserved from error. This conception of the Bible 
also had to give way before the new revdations of 
science; for many of these views were simply un- 
tenable in the light of the new knowledge." 

Thus these Franklin men seem symbolical of the 
two opposing trends in religious thought. Benjamin 
Franklin II, though the younger, turned to the past. 
With him the movement initiated by the Campbells 
receded into the sterile, hard literalism of a narrow 
sectarianism. But Benjamin Franklin I looked 
toward the morning. He had no patience with mere 
sectarianism and he abhorred theological dogmas 
and subtleties. Hence he was in religion, as in sci- 
ence and in politics, "a full generation ahead of his 

iSDavid Hume (1711-1776) addressed him as "the first 
philosopher, and indeed the first great man of letters for 
whom we are beholden to America." Smyth ante n. 5 at IV, 

i^Ante n. 4 at p. 58. 


age^^ ... in nearly every phase of his mental and 
spiritual life, far in advance of the conventional 
limits of his contemporaries. . . . The progress of 
religion since Franklin's day has been steadily in 
the direction that he himself took,, viz., toward the 
practical application of the consciousness of God to 
personal and public affairs and there has been an 
equally steady recession in the feeling of the im- 
portance of theoretical and speculative, religious 
opinions."^*^ In the w^ords of Seward the contrast 
(between these two Franklins) affords its own im- 
pressive moral. 

Disciplines For a Free Pulpit 

Claude E. Cummins, Sterling, Illinois 
Americans are inclined to think of freedom as 
unrestricted living. Free enterprise has meant li- 
cense to develop one's activities in relation to his 
profession or business to his own likings and ac- 
cording to his own moral and ethical standards. 
In reality there exist inescapable restrictions. The 
"art of preaching" has its discipline. In many his- 
toric denominations these disciplines belong to the 
nature of the hierarchy and to written creeds and 
statements of faith. For the Disciples of Christ, 
and similar "Congregational" bodies, these disci- 
plines have a different or variant source. 

I speak each Sunday morning from the free pulpit 
of the First Christian Church of Sterling, Illinois. 
It is a free pulpit because of a fair-minded and 
courteous congregation and church board. In light 
of this freedom, in fact we might say because of it, 
I am under certain very definite compulsions in 
relation to preaching. The sermon must relate 
itself to ongoing life. It must be timely. At the 
same time it must be related to the eternal. It 
must be intellectually honest and set forth only 


16/&. pp. 107-8. 


what is intellectually respectable. It must recognize 
and make use of the best conclusions of scholarship 
in relation to the Bible and other sources of religious 
information, inspiration and interpretation. 

The sermon must be judged in light of its use of 
the emotions. It must avoid the appeal to prejudice. 
It must not be guilty of dishonesty in persuasion. 
It must avoid all use of cheap mob or crowd psychol- 
ogy. There must be a diligent avoidance of assertive- 
ness that tends toward the Pharisaical. I must 
respect the intellectual and spiritual rights and free- 
dom of those who understand things differently or 
who have a different tradition of thought and ap- 
proach to life and truth. 

While accepting these disciplines there must be 
a sense of certainty, assurance and consecration in 
the message so that it will move men to act. It is 
quite possible that I might sometimes at least, secure 
more outward success through being either a legalist 
interpreting the letter of the law or an emotionalist 
freelancing with people's feelings. Or a third alter- 
native is open. It is an alternative that I do not 
want to discuss in detail at this time. It is the 
choice of the "middle-of-the-road" where there are 
no soft shoulders and where there is safety from 
rough shoulders or even precipices of misunder- 

It has been suggested seriously by some that 
preaching be disciplined by the lay elders of the 
church. This means guaranteeing, as I see it, that 
preaching will always be only up to the front of 
lay understanding and intellectual and other forces 
that are shaping life. It will never be at the fore 
front. It will never be in the vanguard showing 
the way ahead through new territories of thought 
and human progress. This conviction is borne out 
by the fact of the "Lag" felt by all who seek advance 
beyond popular concepts and understanding. The 
evolution trials of a few years ago are illustrations 
of this popular "lag." 


Books of Substance 

By W. B. Blakemore 

At the present time there are two areas in religion 
which are not adequately treated by substantial 
books. One of these areas is the psychology of re- 
ligion. The other is theology. The lack of a good 
recent history of theology is a strange circumstance 
in a period which thinks it is "theological." It leads 
one to query whether the recent supposed "return 
to theology" has been as trenchant as many contend. 
Harnack's "classic" of 1890 still rules the field with 
only one partial contender. It is that partial con- 
tender which we suggest as this month's book of 

It is partial only because of the untimely death of 
its author. A. C. McGiffert began writing A History 
of Christian Thought about 1930. Only two volumes 
appeared before his death. These two volumes bring 
the story down to Erasmus. McGiffert was himself 
a liberal theologian, but with a profound sympathy 
for the thinking of earlier times. He felt a con- 
tinuity with the past, and sought no revolution from 
it. But he believed thoroughly in the evolution of 
religious thought and refused to be bound to the 
past. Though the Arian-Athanasian controversy,^ 
in its content, belongs to a day long past, McGiffert 
sensed that the earnestness of that fourth century 
controversy was one with the earnestness of modern 
religious discussions. By evoking the religious sin- 
cerity of another day, McGiffert brings the bones of 
an old argument to life, but does not force on his 
reader the belief that one or the other position in 
that controversy is orthodox for our day. McGiffert 
did not interpret religious belief in terms of the 
socio-historical method developed at Chicago but 
his writing proves, despite himself, that religious 
thought has always been, to some degree, fashioned 
by its heritages. A History of Christian Thought 
was published by Charles Scribner's Sons and the 
two volumes together cost $7. 


Vol. XLI SEPTEMBER, 1943 No. 1 

The Amazing Growth 
of the Disciples 

E. S. Ames 

The Disciples of Christ constitute the most recent 
and the most unique of the larger bodies of protest- 
ant faith. They originated in the United States early 
in the nineteenth century, and their chief character- 
istic from the beginning has been the advocacy of 
Christian union upon a non-theological basis. No 
denomination advocated union at that time. The 
Disciples have never had an official theology or a 
creed. There is no ecclesiastical authority over the 
local churches. The movement is neither trinitarian 
nor unitarian. The teachings are biblical, and bibli- 
cal interpretation has followed the methods of 
"higher criticism" and common sense reasonable- 
ness. These and other important characteristics will 
be noted in the following pages. Three main sub- 
jects will be treated: first, the amazing growth of 
the Disciples; second, their great heritage; third, 
their unique possibilities today. 

My own point of view in this study is that of a 
native son and a loyal adherent, cherishing the free- 
dom which the Disciples allow their teachers and 
preachers. As a teacher and author in the field of 
the philosophy of religion, and as the minister of a 
liberaJl church, my personal experience has often 
proved this freedom. 

My father was a Disciple minister. He grew up 
in a suburb of Boston, the child of Baptist parents. 
He was educated for the Baptist ministry and be- 
came the pastor of the Baptist Church in West Ru- 
pert, Vermont. There he first heard of the Disciples 
of Christ through W. H. Hayden, then the minister 
of the Disciples Church in that town. He became 


deeply interested in this new religious teaching and 
accepted it. I well remember when a boy hearing 
him talk with visiting Disciple ministers and others 
about the "reformation" in which they were en- 
gaged. They believed that they shared in a great 
discovery, and in a new measure of light that had 
come from the Word of God. It was exciting talk to 
a boy of high school age. 

I joined the church under my father's preaching 
at a regular service in the little town of Dixon, 
Iowa, on a beautiful June Sunday, and was im- 
mersed by him that afternoon in the Wapsipinicon 
river. Some years afterward I went to Drake Uni- 
versity. After graduation I decided to study for 
the ministry and had my first pastorate at Perry, 
Iowa, in 1890. I was ordained that year by J. B. 
Vawter, D. R. Dungan, and my father, in the Uni- 
versity Church in Des Moines. From 1900 to 1940 
I was pastor of the University Church of Disciples 
of Christ in Chicago, just across the street from the 
University of Chicago where I taught philosophy 
for thirty-five of those years. I mention these mat- 
ters to indicate how intimately my religious life has 
been bound up with the Disciples of Christ from 

But I also had an opportunity to look upon the 
Disciples from the outside, as it were. It seemed to 
me that if a man were going into the ministry he 
should gain for himself the best possible training. 
I was eager to have the experience of life and study 
in one of the greatest American universities. I 
therefore managed to be among the earliest dozen of 
Disciple students who went to the Yale Divinity 
School. It was a wonderful experience. I knew that 
the professors in such an institution must be very 
wise, but my faith in them was somewhat shaken 
when I found that they had scarcely heard of a re- 
ligious body known as the Disciples of Christ, al- 
though at that time the Disciples numbered some 
six hundred thousand. 



Since that time, however, Yale has become aware 
that the Disciples of Christ constitute one of the 
major religious bodies of this country, a numerous 
and virile body from which large numbers of stu- 
dents may be recruited for the Divinity School and 
for the churches in New England and elsewhere. It 
was something of a shock to find that the wise East 
knew so little about a great movement for Christian 
union upon the basis of New Testament teaching. 
It seemed there must be a mistake somewhere. 
Either these good professors were not well informed 
on some important religious matters,or the Disciples 
were not so important as they thought themselves 
to be. Many a young Disciple, since that time, and 
under similar circumstances, has faced that enigma, 
and too many of them have on that account lost 
their enthusiasm for the Disciples' cause. 

In the light of all the circumstances, the growth 
of the Disciples has been amazing. In 1812 there 
were 10 members of the "fellowship." At the end of 
twenty years there were 20,000. In another twenty 
years (1850) there were 120,000. By 1870 there 
were 350,000. In 40 years, from 1832 to 1872, the 
number of Disciples had multiplied by 16 while the 
population of the United States had increased only 
three fold. From 1870 to 1900 the numbers trebled 
again and brought the total of members to over a 
million. By 1940 the membership in the United 
States, Canada, and foreign countries reached 1,- 
800,000. It is to be noted that these numbers do not 
include young children as is the case in some deno- 
minational statistics. 

How could a religious body develop so rapidly and 
so widely among middle class American people un- 
less it had a vital and timely message for the day 
and age? The Disciples had no marks of a weird or 
fantastic sect, basing their faith on an alleged latter 
day mysterious revelation like that claimed by Jo- 
seph Smith ; nor upon some unscientific cult of heal- 
ing; nor upon orgiastic emotionalism. They taught 


no esoteric doctrine. They emphasized a scholarly 
and common-sense interpretation of the Christian 
scriptures, invited fair, critical inquiry into their 
tenets, held nothing exempt from impartial study, 
sought the best help from every source for their 
problems, and were willing to meet their critics and 
opponents in open, public debate. The Disciples, in 
an unusual degree stressed sanity and reasonable- 
ness in religion and allowed great liberty of opinion. 
These views, presented with conviction and skill 
account in large measure for their amazing growth, 
a numerical growth unparalleled in the history of 
American Christianity when estimated in the light 
of all the circumstances. Consider some of these 

The place of their beginning was not promising 
for popular success. It was in southwestern Penn- 
sylvania in a backwoods area. "Brushrun" was the 
name of the sparse settlement where the first fellow- 
ship of ten persons met. The nearby city of Pitts- 
burgh, humanly speaking, would appear to have 
been a better starting point. Social movements in 
this country have usually been from east to west 
and this was true of the Disciples. They did not 
develop eastward in great numbers toward New 
York or New Haven or Boston. Their expansion was 
westward into Ohio, through the Mississippi Val- 
ley and at length fanwise to the Pacific Coast. A 
further important fact is that as a frontier, rural 
people, their growth was predominantly in frontier, 
rural populations rather than in the cities. The 
Disciples might be called a County Seat religious 
body. But the early leaders had little concern for the 
importance of such accidents of time or place. They 
profoundly believed in the reality and power of the 
ideas they cherished and felt that these ideas had 
enough vitality and persuasive force to make them 
appealing wherever proclaimed. 

Another advantage which the older denomina- 
tions had and which the Disciples lacked was the 


momentum and influence of an old world history 
and tradition. The Methodists had an English back- 
ground and a century of success among the masses. 
Presbyterians and Lutherans had cultivated their 
theological ideas since the sixteenth century and 
were widdy represented in Europe and Great Bri- 
tain, Baptists, Congregationalists, and other bodies 
with the familiar Calvinistic inheritance were well 
known abroad and had achieved social and religious 
respectability. All the major denominations in 
America had the advantages of reputation, famous 
leadership, and the prestige of wealth. The Disci- 
ples, in contrast, started in this country without a 
history, without leaders of repute, without wealth 
or prestige. They were literally a new born voice 
crying in the wilderness. 

In little more than a hundred years the Disciples 
of Christ had, according to the United States cen- 
sus outdistanced all of the great protestant bodies, 
except four. That is, they had more communicants 
than any of the two hundred denominations, except 
the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and Luther- 
ans. I am not saying that the Disciples' religious 
position is proved correct or superior by this amaz- 
ing growth. I am only calling attention to the fact 
that these nearly two million people from the rank 
and file of America's middle class population were 
not gathered into some fantastic or weird sect under 
emotionM delusion or by unreasonable methods. 
The Disciples have been a biblical people and they 
have prided themselves on knowing the Book, es- 
pecially the New Testament, in terms of recognized 
scholarship and reverent study. They have put great 
stress on reasonableness in religion and have called 
upon every man to excercise the right of private 
interpretation and to check his understanding of 
any given text by careful and faithful comparison 
of it with other passages relevant to the subject un- 
der consideration. 

Another explanation of their growth is the fact 


that they have sought to make loyalty to Jesus 
Christ the center of their religious appeal, and have 
given men a clear and acceptable conception of 
Jesus Christ. They discarded the age old theological 
and metaphysical speculations concerning his na- 
ture. Men should see him now as men behdd him 
long ago as one who dwelt among us and revealed 
his glory in word and deed. His stories made known 
the love of God and the possibility of the return of 
the prodigal son to the Father's house. There were 
the fascinating pictures of his gracious deeds, full 
of healing and comfort and salvation. But most im- 
portant of all was the appeal of the Disciples to men 
and women of all creeds and classes to proclaim 
this simple, vital exaltation of Christ in order to 
bring about the union of all Christians and thus the 
kingdom of heaven upon earth with the maximum 
of power. They saw and realized the weakness of a 
divided church. The conflicts and antagonisms of 
scores of warring sects presented to them a scandal 
which was a reproach and a vicious hindrance to 
the growth of the cause they all professed to serve. 
These were the teachings that brought thousands, 
and then hundreds of thousands of people into their 

The statistical growth of the Disciples could not 
have taken place on such a large scale if it had not 
involved growth in many sided religious and cultur- 
al values. There was growth of several kinds im- 
portant in the development of a religious movement, 
throwing light upon the nature of this movement. 
It is of significance in estimating the Disciples to 
consider the place which education has had in their 
history. The four great leaders of the first period, 
up to the middle of nineteenth century were Thomas 
and Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott and Barton 
W. Stone. The first three were trained in the Uni- 
versities of Scotland, Thomas Campbell and his son 
at the University of Glasgow, and Walter Scott at 
the University of Edinburgh. They were classical 


scholars and throughout life, at intervals, taught 
Greek and Latin, French and German. They read 
the Bible in its original languages and were able, 
when need arose, to take questions of interpretation 
to the ancient texts themselves. They were advocates 
of public schools and of general popular education. 
For them religion, to reach its fullest power, needed 
higher education. It was natural, therefore, that the 
desire to found colleges should become an absorbing 
interest with the early leaders. Consequently the 
establishment of Bacon College, in Kentucky, mark- 
ed the beginning of a series of colleges which has 
provided in every area, where their churches have 
bcome numerous, means for the education of lajnuen 
and ministers. Bacon College specialized in the 
sciences and its name, after Francis Bacon, is of 
peculiar interest to the historian of the Disciples 
as indicating a direct relation to the great intellec- 
tual movement which marks the epoch in which the 
world of modern thought began. 

Bethany Cdllege, founded by Alexander Campbell, 
on his own estate in West Virginia, was more 
typical of the kind of colleges the Disciples were to 
establish and which were to have a decisive effect 
upon their work. Bethany College while stressing 
science also brought Christian education into the 
life of all the students, and by the same courses 
trained men for the Disciple ministry and. for edu- 
cational leadership in all the schools to be founded 
later. It was Bethany, and colleges of its kind, which 
provided qualified men for both pulpits and pews. 

The influence of these college men in pulpits, pro- 
fessorships, editorial offices and in other places of 
responsibility has led the way into new and larger 
enterprises in these last hundred years. The Disci- 
ples have loyally clung to the conviction that the 
truth should be sought in every field and that the 
truth would make men free. Sometimes the fact has 
been hard to believe but it continues to prove itself 
in experience. In a decade around 1850 nine colleges 


and other educational institutions were founded, in- 
cluding Hiram, Butler, Eureka, Oskaloosa, and 
Christian College at Columbia, Missouri. 

Another new direction of growth was in the or- 
ganization of missionary societies. Here, as in the 
case of the colleges, a new principle of religious 
authority was discovered. Some had objected to the 
founding of colleges on the ground that the New 
Testament nowhere expressly sanctioned the pro- 
cedure. Likewise, it was contended that there were 
no specific texts for the creating of missionary socie- 
ties. In both instances, however, consecrated com- 
mon sense led the way, and the pragmatic, practical 
mind of the wiser Disciples triumphed. In a very 
few years it became evident that an experimental, 
venturesome attitude could justify itself with the 
great words of Jesus when applied even to such 
vital concerns: "By their fruits ye shall know 
them." There never was any serious doubt about 
the validity and urgency of the missionary motive 
itself. The real question was whether it was allow- 
able to organize societies for the collection and ad- 
ministration of funds and for the direction of men 
and women on foreign and home fields. In spite of 
indifference, criticism, and opposition, missionary 
work on the part of the Disciples has expanded and 
developed increasing efficiency. Millions of dollars 
have been gathered and put to work around the 
world, and thousands of people of many lands and 
tongues have been gathered into the churches. It is 
too bad that this work lagged so long but the Disci- 
ples have at last come to their maturity in this re- 
spect and today are cooperating in all the great 
worldwide missionary enterprises of Christendom. 
And most important of all they have convinced 
themselves by the results on the mission fields and 
by the quickening of a deeper religious spirit in the 
churches at home that such work is in keeping with 
the divine will. 

This tendency away from a negative, literalistic 


legalism released the Disciples from the letter which 
kills to the spirit which gives life. It effected many 
changes on behalf of freedom of procedure and of 
experimentation. Should churches have organs and 
choirs in their services of worship? No scripture 
text authorized such things, but neither did any- 
holy word prohibit them. Instead of continuing to 
regard this silence as a taboo against action, it was 
interpreted to mean liberty to undertake what 
promised good fruits. "Silence" thus became an 
open door, rather than a closed one, and through it 
many "innovations" were allowed to enter into the 
work and programs of the churches. Sunday schools, 
women's societies, organizations for young people, 
dramatics, pageants, forums, and entertainments of 
many kinds, were tried. Sometimes they failed for 
lack of leadership or of interest but they came to 
be judged on their merit rather than by some ex- 
ternal authority. Interesting developments continue 
to illustrate this growing experimental attitude in 
practical activities and in doctrinal implications. 
The architecture of conservative churches has taken 
on different forms, sometimes in the total structure, 
and more often in the refashioning of old buildings 
to add a lectern beside the pulpit and conventional 
choir stalls. Such combinations of old and new, of 
simple and ornate, are naively symbolic of the 
churches in which they appear, for these churches 
are in process of transition from a simpler to a 
more complex stage of religious development. Mini- 
sters in gowns, liturgies moving toward the "en- 
richment of worship," and more elaborate music, 
are parts of the same tendency. Viewed in the per- 
spective of fifty years the contrast with the old 
simplicities is very striking but indicative of signifi- 
cant growth, however imitative and uncritical it 
may be. 

From the standpoint of the original impulse of 
the Disciples toward Christian union the most signi- 
ficant development since the last decade of the nine- 


teenth century concerns this dominant theme of 
their entire history. From the beginning it had been 
held that union was not only desirable but that it 
was the definitely expressed will of Christ, and that 
sectarian divisions were sinful and wasteful and 
hindrances to the spread of the Christian religion. 
The Disciples believed that official theological sys- 
tems embodied in creeds were the barriers to union 
and that the practical procedure would be to gather 
into a non-theological fellowship all persons who 
sought earnestly to promote the union of Christians. 
They did not think any union of denominations as 
such was possible or practicable. Their idea was 
that the New Testament provided all the norms and 
directions necessary to build a universal fellowship 
of Christians. But while the Disciples advocated 
union upon the basis of New Testament teaching, 
denominational leaders began at about the turn of 
the century to engage in practical cooperative en- 
terprises through various plans and programs. Local 
federations and the national Federal Council of 
Churches brought the issue to the Disciples. The 
dilemma was acute. If the Disciples joined in these 
enterprises they were compromising their consci- 
ences by uniting with churches that still adhered to 
sectarian creedal positions at least in their local 
congregations. But if they refused to cooperate in 
practical ways they seemed to nullify their own will 
to union. They appeared to say that if they could 
not have the kind of union they wanted and in the 
way they wanted they would! not unite with their 
religious neighbors at all. Many Disciples took pre- 
cisely that attitude but others felt that any vital 
work in the service of God and man should be sup- 
ported and extended. Missionary leaders on foreign 
fields were notable for the latter view and gradually 
the majority of Disciples were won to it, though 
conscientious objections were much in evidence. 

The objectors held to the traditional Disciple posi- 
tion that the New Testament laid down a definite 


pattern for true churches which should be followed 
to the letter. That pattern included the steps neces- 
sary for entrance into a church and those who failed 
to take them lacked something essential to becom- 
ing full-fledged Christians. It was at this point that 
modern studies of the New Testament made pos- 
sible a great advance in the growth of the Disciples. 
Dean F. D. Kershner, of the Butler School of reli- 
gion, rated as a conservative leader, made a notable 
address on union at the International Convention of 
the Disciples of Christ at San Antonio, Texas, in 
1935, taking the position that the New Testament 
presents no uniform pattern of the Church either in 
regard to organization, worship or doctrine. He 
showed the radical differences between the Jewish 
and the Greek churches and maintained that the one 
bond between these churches was "loyalty to Jesus 
Christ." He made it clear that this loyalty did not 
rest on a doctrinal basis but was a matter of atti- 
tude and of personal devotion. He showed that the 
monotheistic Jewish Christians could not conceive 
Jesus as God but could only regard him as the Son 
of God, or the Messiah. The Greek Christians, on 
the other hand, being already polytheists, had no 
difficulty in accepting Jesus also as God. The one 
bond that held such different Christians together 
was their common loyalty to Jesus Christ, whatever 
their metaphysical conception of his nature. 

Thus was brought into the high light of the his- 
tory of doctrine a new justification of the practical 
basis of Christian fellowship which had always ob- 
tained among the Disciples. They had said that their 
confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of 
God did not mean the acceptance of any metaphysi- 
cal doctrine of his nature but was rather the fullest 
possible expression of personal devotion and of a 
desire to follow him. Certain prominent leaders in 
the early days were suspected of sympathy with 
unitarian conceptions but Alexander Campbell, 
when faced with the question of their right to Disci- 


pie fellowship, answered that such opinions should 
not debar these leaders from Christian fellowship 
since they showed by their faith and works that 
they acknowledged the one essential bond of that 
fellowship in their loyalty to Christ. 

Now the Disciples face the opportunity for the 
first time in their history to go forward with full 
freedom and enthusiasm in wholehearted practice 
of Christain union without compromise of con- 
science or biblical teaching. They have always ad- 
hered to the right of private interpretation of scrip- 
ture and to liberty of opinion concerning all reli- 
gious questions so long as the individual Christian 
maintains loyalty to Christ as he understands that 
loyalty according to his best knowledge and belief. 
On this principle a larger fellowship becomes pos- 
sible for it means welcoming into the local congre- 
gation all who sincerely seek its fellowship in loyal- 
ty to what they bdieve to be the conditions of 
genuine devotion to the will and spirit of Jesus 
Christ. Obviously the idea of "loyalty to Christ" is 
submitted to the same freedom of interpretation as 
any other conception and if fairly followed would 
allow individuals of conservative convictions as full 
a share in the fellowship as those who may be con- 
sidered liberals. But none would have the right to 
dictate to another what he should believe or think. 
All would be under the high obligation to remember 
that "love is the fulfillment of the law." 

More than a hundred years ago the Disciples of 
Christ launched the first modern organized move- 
ment for the union of all Christians. Their labors 
have gathered to their cause nearly two million 
people. Today they have a considerable part in unit- 
ed religious work throughout the world and now 
they have a more vital word to offer on behalf of 
union than ever before. This new word has come 
out of their experience in advocating and pleading 
for union. The old appeal was in terms of certain 
texts and skillful arguments, but the new word is 


more than a minimum of doctrine such as the recent 
ecumenical conferences have sought. It is a word 
which expresses a deeper and broader basis of union 
among individuals and denominations. It is a word 
which voices an attitude and not a doctrine. Where 
this attitude prevails doctrines are not necessary to 
fellowship, though the widest range of doctrines 
may be held if they are not imposed upon any one. 
This word is Love. Love God. Love thy neighbor. 
"On these two commandments hang all the law and 
the prophets." 

The Vocabulary of Jesus 

W. J. Lhamon 

In the whole of the Sermon on the Mount there is 
scarcely a Latinism. There are few three-syllable 
words. This is true also of parables of Jesus and of 
the whole body of his reported teaching. Simplicity 
in verbiage is a marked feature of his style. Of 
course I am speaking of our various English trans- 
lations. However, this simplicity is warranted by 
the Greek text. Other features of his literary style 
are these. It is terse, proverbial and antithetic. In 
his sermons especially Jesus draws heavily on the 
wisdom literature of the Old Testament of which 
he must have been a lover and a devout student. 
Often he enlarges similies into parables and con- 
denses proverbs into metaphors. But I wish to speak 
more particularly of his words . . . especially the 
ones he did not use, if I may be allowed such an 

The vocabulary of Jesus is remarkable for the 
absence of priestly terms. There is in the Sermon on 
the Mount not a word about that glorious center of 
theocratic worship for the Jews "of every nation 
under heaven", the matchless temple that Herod had 
built of marble and gold. Not a word about the army 
of priests there, or of the high priests, or the various 
cycles of feasts, or in thousands of slain beasts 


whose blood was properly sprinkled on this or the 
other altar, and whose bodies smoked on the great 
altar. Jesus treats these things with significant sil- 
ence. Did he not care for them? 

Then there is a notable absence in "the sayings" 
of Jesus of ecclesiastical terms. Even the word 
church does not occur in Mark, Luke or John, and 
only twice in Matthew. In Mat. 18:17 the use of the 
word is evidently a throw-back from a later date 
since there was no church at that time. The same 
may be true of Mat. 16:18. It is certain that Jesus 
nowhere speaks of elders, deacons, bishops, or any 
other kind of official. Nor of church government as 
congregational, presbyterian or episcopal. Was he 
not interested in such things? Was he interested 
only in great precepts, great principles and great 
prayers? These at best are all that we have in his 
sermons and parables. There is no intimation of "a 
divine order of things" regarding the church and its 
officers and government. 

Again. In the teachings of Jesus there is an ab- 
sence of theological terms. He does not define God. 
He simply calls him Father and then acts as though 
he believed it. One looks in vain through the red 
letter sayings of Jesus for any and all of the debat- 
able theological terms of St. Paul, such as sanctifica- 
tion, justification, redemption and propitiation. The 
list might be enlarged. For our salvation Jesus 
seemed satisfied to warn us against sin, to promise 
us forgiveness on condition of repentance, and the 
renewal of our place in the Father's love. This he 
illustrated in the "pearl of all his parables," the 
parable of the return of the Prodigal — a return fol- 
lowed not by any sacrament but only by a feast of 

We need to study the silences of Jesus. There is 
emphasis in them. And in a number of things that 
he did not do. We may save ourselves a world of 
trouble if we get back to him as nearly as we can. 

I make but one application of this conclusion. 


When we get back to Jesus and find him silent as to 
forms, ceremonies, sacraments and organizations, 
we get back of Thomas Campbell's Declaration and 
Address where it is again and again assumed that 
our Lord "requires conformity" in things about 
which he said nothing. The organization, promotion 
and development of the church was left entirely to 
his apostles and later disciples, who did the best 
they could about it and with it. They had no New 
Testament to go by. They had to make one. They had 
first to build a "mother church" in Jerusalem and 
among Jews exclusively, many of whom never re- 
covered from their prejudices about the Sabbath 
and circumcision. Then they had to build churches 
among Gentiles where Judaism was not known; or 
if known was not liked. Then Jewish and Gentile 
factions had to be reconciled. This required a tre- 
mendous departure from Judaism ,a fact accom- 
plished mainly under the keen insight and spiritual 
power of St. Paul. Then there were churches with 
disturbing peculiarities, such as the one in Corinth, 
with its gifts of "tongues," and the "interpretation 
of tongues," its "ecstasies," its "prophecies," its 
"miracles, helps, governments, and diversities" 
(Cor. 12 :27f ) . A world of trouble St. Paul had with 
that! However, out of it grew his immortal hymn 
of Christian love — read the 12th and 13th chapters 
of 1 Cor. together. Then the Church in Rome had its 
peculiarities. And so had each of the "seven church- 
es" of the first three chapters of the book of Reve- 

So far as I can discover Thomas and Alexander 
Campbell never canvassed this field at all. Surely 
the Declaration and Address shows nothing of it. 
But what a problem for those who seek to "restore 
the primitive order of things !" 


Dr. George A. Campbell 

Pentwater, Michigan, August 17, 1943 

Dr. George A. Campbell passed away this evening 
just as the sun set in a glorious, glowing sky. The 
end came peacefully and quietly after days of in- 
creasing weakness and years of suffering in com- 
parative helplessness. We talked together this after- 
noon in the old comradery of spirit which we had 
enjoyed through more than fifty years since student 
days at Drake. While he could speak but very little 
and then only in whispers, he had part in the con- 
versation through his expressive eyes and the swift 
changes of his features. 

From his bed he could see the Lake and the en- 
circling pines which he loved so much. For thirty- 
five years he sought this shore with every cycle of 
the seasons. With his wife and their growing chil- 
dren he came every summer to work as only the 
vacation time enables a professional man to do, and 
to enjoy the loveliness of nature and his genius for 

Through a long, rich life of deep and passionate 
devotion to the churches and the brotherhood he 
served so well he came here year after year to re- 
new his strength. He knew well that this would be 
his last summer. By what would have seemed to 
others an impossible journey he came again and 
lived in vivid consciousness through every day and 
the quiet, wistful evening. And tonight he saw his 
last sunset over the beautiful water and the gor- 
geous sky. And there was a lovely afterglow to this 
day as there is to his life itself. 

E. S. Ames, 


The Annual Meeting 

T. T. Swearingen of Wilson, North Carolina has 
been elected as President of the Campbell Institute 
for the coming year. In an article in this issue of 
the Scroll he writes of Fellowship, a value cherished 
by the Institute from its beginnings. Mr. Swear- 
ingen was evidently motivated to write on this sub- 
ject because it was raised several times during the 
Annual meeting. One afternoon we discussed "the 
good of the order". The significance of the Institute 
in developing fellowship among its members was 
emphasized. The place of the Scroll in fostering that 
association during the year was noted, and our 
president has taken the opportunity to use the Scroll 
for communicating to his fellows. His article also 
catches up some points from the discussion which 
we had of W. C. Bower's recent book, Christ and 
Christian Education. As a result, Mr. Swearingen 
here leads us on beyond the idea of fellowship as a 
pleasant experience to fellowship conceived as the 
very ground of human salvation. Significantly his 
paper points not merely toward an appreciation of 
the Institute but toward an understanding of the 
church of Christ. 

The Annual meeting of this year was well attend- 
ed. Coming in conjunction with the Pastor's Insti- 
tute at the university it brought over seventy minis- 
ters from our churches outside the Chicago area. 
Our brotherhood had the largest denominational 
representation at these Institutes, neariy twice as 
many as the next largest group. Over one hundred 
attended the Institute Dinner on the Thursday eve- 
ning of the Annual meeting. The opening com- 
munion service was led by Marshon DePoister of 
Rensselaer, Indiana. On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. 
Ames led a discussion of A. Campbell Garnett's re- 
cent work, A Realistic Philosophy of Religion. That 
evening Dr. Garrison addressed us on "Liberalism 
and Reaction." Dr. Garrison was pinch-hitting for 


last year's president, Perry Gresham of Seattle, 
Washington, who was kept from the meeting by 
distance. We know that Mr. Gresham has a presi- 
dent's address on the "The Millenial Hope," and 
the Institute will look forward to some day in the 
future when he brings us a present day interpreta- 
tion of the kind of millenial outlook that inspired 
Alexander Campbell. 

On Wednesday afternoon we heard two reports. 
Mr. Hugh B. Kilgour of Toronto, Canada presided 
over the report on "The Temper of the Brother- 
hood." Mr. Donald Sheridan of Bartlesville, Okla- 
homa led in the discussion of "The Good of the Or- 
der." These were constructively critical sessions 
and from them came positive suggestions for the 
future conduct of the Institute. Primarily, the in- 
coming officers of the Institute were instructed to 
begin preparations for a "suitable celebration" of 
the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute in 1946. 

Mr. Harold Fey and Mr. John Harms addressed 
us on the contributions which the Disciples have to 
make to the present Christian Unity movement. The 
discussion took a practical turn in the consideration 
of cooperative Christian efforts to bring religion in- 
to the new industrial centers of the nation. Another 
session, led by A. Campbell Garnett of the Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin, was devoted to "The Impact of 
the War on Religious Thought." 

The speeches at the Annual Dinner were, as 
usual, in lighter vein. Three men who ought to know 
were asked to discuss the relation between Preach- 
ers and Polititians. F. E. Davison of South Bend, 
Indiana, revealed that there are some sections of his 
town where he dare not go without a body-guard. 

The final session of the Institute was devoted to a 
discussion of Christian education led by T. T. 
Swearingen, Myron T. Hopper and John L. Davis. 

The Annual Meeting was held at the Disciples 
Divinity House in Chicago from August 2 to 
August 6. 




When two philosophers agree, that is something. 
There are two who say, "given two things, tradition 
and fellowship, personality is possible." 

It is a well known fact that the accumulation of 
cultural tradition is found only on the human levd. 
Language itself is a part of this human heritage to- 
gether with all the rich record of tradition made 
possible by it. Tradition provides the fellowship 
which overreaches centuries and unites each person 
with all who have lived before. 

Fellowship, as an active force, represents the 
only way by which human beings learn. Our pri- 
mary source of knowledge comes through associa- 
tion with those who know what we desire to learn. 
Our primary source of values and meaning comes 
from those with whom we associate. In its simplest 
aspects we understand this quite clearly. If we want 
our children to learn arithmetic, history or geo- 
graphy we place them in an association with those 
who know these subjects. Mark Hopkins on one end 
of a log and a student on the other not only repre- 
sents effective teaching but likewise the only way 
by which learning takes place. Christ may be on one 
end of the log and a modern student on the other, 
but the principle is the same. We learn from others, 
both those whom we live with and those who, though 
they lived long ago, still are in our fellowship. 

In the area of values and meaning, in relation to 
attitudes and motives, the principle is the same. 
People in association with each other build up their 
sense of values and develop their understandings. 
To associate only with criminals results in filling 
life with a definite set of values. If one would then 
change his association he would for a time invest his 
new relationships with the understandings arrived 
at in his older association. Edwin G. Robinson in 


the motion picture "Brother Orchid" illustrates this 
idea very clearly. Having lived his life as a gangster 
he suddenly finds himself in a monastery. While 
the language of the monks is familiar their motives 
are very strange. He is inclined to interpret their 
values in terms of his own selfish view of life. Only 
through long association with them does he discover 
the new values for which they live. Only then is he 
able to credit them with sincerity. 

In the operation of this principle we have the 
natural and basic reason for the church. God has 
made us social beings, dependent upon our fellow- 
ship with others for our values in life. We are thus 
the kind of creatures which learn primarily in and 
through our associations, deriving our attitudes and 
values from our human fellowships. If therefore 
we can only learn in this way is it fair to suppose 
that there would be left out of the woi^ld that fellow- 
ship within which man could find the answers to the 
deepest questions of the soul? Has man been placed 
in a world where fellowship is required for learning 
and where only those fellowships are provided 
which place a low value upon human life? Has man 
been left with no real answers to the greatest ques- 
tions which haunt the human mind and likewise 
no solutions to the deepest problems which plague 
human society? 

The existence of the church gives a negative ans- 
wer to these questions. Here is provided a natural 
association of individuals under the teaching and 
leadership of Christ within which the highest values 
of human life can be discovered. The church is not 
something tacked on to life, a supernatural struc- 
ture imposed upon our natural scene. It is rather 
the highest fulfillment of life's basic law of learn- 

Christ represents the highest leadership in the 
world's most significant fellowship. His life and 
teaching interpret the best we know about life and 
its possibilities. His death illustrates his complete 


identification with his philosophy of life. It is there- 
fore within this fellowship, the church, that man 
can come to understand both his own worth, the 
worth of every human being, and the true meaning 
of life. 

Perhaps in such an understanding of the church 
is to be found a new and deeper understanding of 
some of the "language of the church" : words like 
"saved" and "lost" take on a deeper significance in 
the light of such an interpretation of the church. 
Magic drops out of the picture and we see God 
working in a natural way, but no less miraculously, 
to effect the cultivation of His spirit in man and in 
human society. God and man thus become partners 
in the progress of salvation. God lays down the 
principle and man has the right to decide how to 
use it. Man can choose any fellowship he likes but 
having done so he has determined what kind of in- 
dividual he will be. If he is to reach out for the 
highest and best he must choose to join with those 
whose hearts possess that dream. 

Apostle of Freedom and War 

W. M. Forrest, Cuckoo, Va. 

In the pre-revolutionary period of our history a 
prominent pioneer preacher championed two vital 
freedoms, and faced a dilemma created by a war. 
His problem was one now dismaying many modern 
clergymen. The clearness and soundness of the posi- 
tion he took can best be appreciated by getting 
acquainted with the man before considering his 

Samuel Davies was born in Newcastle County, 
Delaware, on November 3, 1723. His education, 
both academic and theological, was limited to the 
curriculum of Blair's Log College at Faggs Manor, 
Pennsylvania. From the time that William Ten- 
nent built the first Log College, twenty feet square 
on a fifty acre land-grant from William Penn, the 


education of a noble band of Presbyterian ministers 
in that school and its successors furnished colonial 
America with its leading apostles. Usually with a 
single master and a single room in a log cabin, such 
schools furnished education with minimum equip- 
ment and maximum inspiration. Almost, but not 
quite "a saw-log with Mark Hopkins on one end of 
it and a student on the other." Those were not the 
days when colleges taught "less and less about more 
and more." Princeton University, evolved from 
Tennent's Log College, 1726, through the College 
of New Jersey, 1746, to Princeton itself, 1896. 

Having graduated from Blair's Log College, 
Davies was licensed to preach in 1746, and ordained 
in 1747. Thereafter, until his death in 1761, he 
labored as an evangelist, except for the last two 
years of his life. From his early manhood, when he 
began his mission work in Hanover, Virginia, at the 
age of twenty four, he was pursued by tuberculosis. 
The labors he undertook and continued for fourteen 
years might well have broken a man of the most rug- 
ged health. Instead they proved the saying, "He who 
loseth his life shall find it." In the wilderness of 
Virginia traveling continually in the pure air of the 
forests, he kept ahead of his foe. Only when he 
accepted more sedentary work did his easier in-door 
life enable his enemy to slay him. 

Like Paul, Davies was "in journeyings often, in 
perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of 
his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in 
perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils 
among false brethren." His journeys in two months 
of one summer took him five hundred miles on horse- 
back to preach forty sermons, fording rivers and 
following rough and muddy trails. The outlaws of 
the border, and the savages of the woods imperiled 
him. His own countrymen of the Established 
Church constantly beset him with threats of perse- 
cution and imprisonment. Rather than escape any 
responsibility he declared he chose "to expire under 


the fatigues of duty rather than in voluntary negli- 
gence." So he braved the stormy Atlantic in the 
frail ships of his day to find funds for a new college. 
His perils among false brethren were from the 
zealots of his own Presbyterian fold who bitterly 
resisted the "New Lights" of the church. 

Samuel Davies was a herald of "the Great Awak- 
ening" that roused the early American church from 
theological disputations, and the immorality of 
many of its clergy and members. The movement that 
he and his associates of the Presbyterian Church 
began was joined by the equally zealous pioneers of 
the Methodist and Baptist churches, and continued 
well into the nineteenth century. For the first time 
it reached the masses of the colonies with a gospel 
that stirred their hearts and quickened their moral 
sense to a realization of their personal worth in the 
sight of God, and of their responsibilities to him. 
The primitive conditions of life, the general ignor- 
ance of the people, and the zeal without knowledge 
of the later preachers aggravated many extrava- 
gances, both of a physical and emotional nature that 
had attended the movement from the first. The 
banner of evangdism which the educated men of the 
Presbyterian Church lifted, was snatched from their 
hands by their Baptist and Methodist contempora- 
ries who were often crudely ignorant. Both in its 
saner and in its wilder stages, the Great Awakening 
did much to bring America to a new day of spiritual 

There were three outstanding causes for which 
Davies battled, in addition to his conspicuous labors 
in evangelism and education. The first conflict was 
with the Established Church in Virginia. From the 
beginning of the colonies laws were passed, taxes 
were levied, and clerical zeal was exercised to uphold 
the established churches, especially of Jamestown 
and Plymouth colonies. Dark pages of early Ameri- 
can history tell of expulsions, fines, imprisonments, 
scourgings and deaths meted out to the Quakers, 


Baptists, Presbyterians and others who dared to 
preach contrary to the prescribed theologies and 
polities. Davies resisted, with courage second to 
none, the union of Church and State, which made 
the authorities of the civil order the creatures of 
ecdesiastics. That he escaped the severe penalties 
visited upon others was due, in part, to changing 
conditions within the colonies largely because of the 
French-Indian War. Common perils then as now, 
tended to draw the colonists together for a united 
front against ruthless foes. But another reason why 
Davies was able to prosecute his labors was his rare 
good sense and conciliatory spirit. He complied 
with the requirements of the law by securing a 
license to preach to several congregations around 
Hanover, and later had it extended to three other 
points in different counties. Having secured such 
licenses as regular pastor of the widely separated 
congregations, he escaped the effect of a proclama- 
tion by the Governor of Virginia calling on all 
magistrates to put a stop to itinerant preaching. 
Unlike many of the flaming evangelists of his day, 
he did not spend his time denouncing the clergy of 
the Established Church, lazy or immoral though 
some of them might be. On the contrary, he 
preached to the unchurched and irreligious in the 
interests of Christianity, and not of denomination- 
alism. However, when the authorities of Church 
and State pressed too hard upon the Presbyterian 
evangdists, Davies led the battle for religious free- 
dom. He carried the matter up to the powers in 
England, claiming that the Act of Toleration covered 
his case and that of his coadjutors. The English 
authorities confirmed his contention, and granted 
him a letter upholding his rights. 

The second struggle was with those of his own 
denomination. It is one of the freaks of orthodoxy 
that the eighteenth century evangelists were the 
Modernists of their day, bitterly opposed as heretics 


by the chief men of Presbyterianism. By and lar^e, 
there are no more violent opponents of liberalism 
than the outstanding revivalists of the past hundred 
years. But the rigid Calvinists and sticklers for 
the estalished rules of Presbyterianism were the 
Old Side and the evangelists were the New Side of 
that period. As such, they were opposed with a 
vehemence that split the denomination. That is so 
far true that when the Established clergy resisted 
the application of the Act of Tolerance of 1869 to 
Davies and his helpers they claimed that the New 
Lights were schismatics, and no true part of the 
Presbyterian Church. The Philadelphia Synod hav- 
ing expelled the New Brunswick Presbytery in 
1741, ostensibly because of failure to conform to the 
rule for receiving candidates, the Episcopal clergy 
were on rather solid ground in claiming that the 
revivalists were not of the true Presbyterian fold. 
Like all divisive contentions over faith and practice, 
neither side was blameless. But the verdict of his- 
tory is that the Old Side was the wrong side. When 
the division was healed in 1758, the outstanding 
man, respected by both factions, who could be 
trusted to help keep the peace, was Samuel Davies. 
Once more the French-Indian War, which imperiled 
especially the frontier where so many Presb3i;erians 
were exposed, helped draw together the former 
combatants of that faith. A year later Davies was 
called to succeed Jonathan Edwards as president of 
the College of New Jersey. His untimely death, at 
the age of thirty-eight, came two years later. 

At the present time the struggle for freedom of 
religion and freedom of conscience is directed 
chiefly against the tyranny of civil authorities and 
governments over churches and believers. But 
generally the apostles of liberty have been obliged 
to battle against established churches and orthodox 
religions that controlled States and imposed their 
will upon non-conformers. Roger Williams and 
Thomas Jefferson were not immediately concerned 


with freeing religion from persecuting dictators. 
They were confronted by ecclesiastical tyranny en- 
trenched behind laws that New England Congrega- 
tionalism and Virginia Episcopalianism had dictated 
to the colonial gvernments to suppress rival denomi- 
nations and stamp out independent faith and prac- 
tice. Such was also the task of Davies. Now the 
Church that once took up the sword to get estab- 
lished as a monopoly by the State is often in danger 
of perishing by the sword. 

The third conflict which claimed the rare abilities 
of Davies was the patriotic support of the colonies 
in the French-Indian War. That savage struggle 
that raged with ferocious fury for years, demanded 
all the strength that the colonies and England could 
put into it. Acts of torture and murder, as well 
as the barbarities of battle, led the preacher to 
devote a number of his most eloquent sermons to 
arousing and sustaining the heroic resistance of the 
people. His sermons, as a whole, show in their 
printed form a high degree of pure diction and 
polished eloquence. Those of the war period have 
been especially praised as a display of patriotic 
oratory unrivaled in the literature of the pulpit. 

As a boy and as a young man, Patrick Henry lis- 
tened to Davies with rapt admiration. His uncle, 
the Rev. Patrick Henry of the Hanover Established 
Church was a stern opponent of the revivalists, and 
particularly of Davies. But he apparently had little 
influence over his brother's family. Several of its 
members united with the Presbyterians and young 
Patrick's mother took him to hear the gifted evan- 
gelist frequently, as a boy. Later he heard him of his 
own choice. Since he expressed his admiration of the 
man's oratory, it is not unlikely that he took him 
as his model, as some have claimed. Thus was 
helped the cause of the Revolution that came some 
fifteen years after Davies' death. He also had 
prophetic insight into the worth of the chief actor 
of the Revolution. In a sermon occasioned by 


Braddock's defeat at the hands of the Indians, he 
said, "I may point out to the public the heroic 
youth, Colonel Washington, whom I cannot but hope 
Providence has hitherto preserved in so signal a 
manner for some important service to his country." 
In all this there is nothing extraordinary, except 
the eloquence and commanding influence of the back- 
woods preacher. He witnessed the horrors of savage 
warfare. He shared the danger of the defeat of his 
native land. He shuddered at the peril of his fellow 
countrymen, especially his coreligionists, settled in 
large numbers upon the frontier in the Shenandoah 
Valley. He gained the advantage that came to all 
the Dissenters from the war's abatement of internal 
strife. He won for his cause the favor of the civil 
authorities by his war sermons. Naturally he threw 
his weight into the winning of the war. 

What is remarkable is the way the love of Christ 
restrained him from hatred of the foe, and laid upon 
his heart deep humility and repentance for the com- 
mon sins that brought humanity to such horrible 

"Brethren, while we are surrounded by the 
terrors of war, let us learn our own degeneracy, 
mourn over it, and cry for the exertion of that 
power which alone can form us anew, and 
repair the wastes and desolations. . . . How 
corrupt must this world be when it is even our 
duty to weaken and destroy our fellowmen as 
much as we can ? How corrupt must this world 
be when peace itself, the sweetest of all bles- 
sings, is become an evil, and war is to be chosen 
before it? When it is become our duty to shed 
blood, when martial valor, or courage to destroy 
man, who was made in the image of God, is be- 
come a virtue? When it is become glorious to 
kill men! and when we are obliged to treat a 
whole nation as a gang of robbers and murder- 
ers, and bring them to punishment? This cer- 
tainly shows that they are degenerate creatures ; 


and as they share in the same nature with us, 
we must draw the same conclusion concerning 
ourselves. Let us therefore humble ourselves, 
and mourn in dust and ashes before the Lord; 
let us lament the general depravity of the 
Thus preached Samuel Davies at Hanover, Vir- 
ginia, on New Year's Day 1757. He showed no 
doubt of the justness of the war, or the necessity to 
punish and destroy the enemy, even as society must 
punish its robbers, and destroy its murderers. But 
he was a man of peace whose toilsome life was spent 
in efforts to save, and not to destroy men. On an- 
other occasion he said, "My heart at times is set 
upon nothing more than to snatch the brands out of 
the burning . . . and hence it is I consume my 
strength and life in such great fatigues." He con- 
sidered the war an effect of the common sins of 
humanity, shared by friend and enemy alike. As 
a patriot he challenged his people to stand up and 
meet the foe. As a prophet he called them to for- 
sake the sins that are the root of all wars. As a 
man he humbled himself under the mighty hand of 
God revealed in judgment by the scourge of war. 
As a Christian he yearned for the redemption of all 
men through the persuasive love of Christ. Such a 
preacher can be trusted to help win the war and not 
lose the peace. 

Note — Sources for the life and work of Davies 
are his published sermons, and many contemporary 
records and writers. See also the Dictionary of 
American Biography 1928-1936. Wertenbaker, 
The Old South, 1942. Sweet, Religion in Colonial 
America, 1942. 

Twice Thrown from Heaven 

W. B. Blakemore, Jr. 
May I recall to your mind these magnificent lines 
from the opening of Milton's Paradise Lost: 
The Infernal Serpent 


Him the Almighty Power 

Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky 
With hideous ruin and combustion, down 
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell 
In adamantine chains and penal fire, 
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms. 
Nine times the space that measures day and night 
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew, 
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf. 
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom 
Reserved him to more wrath ; for now the thought 
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 
Torments him ; round he throws his baleful eyes, 
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay, 
Mixed with obdurate pride, and speadfast hate. 
Until very recent times I stood in awe of this 
magnificent arch-fiend painted by Milton. This hand- 
some Beelzebub, flung headlong through space, en- 
dured the terrific fall, landed in the fiery gulf, and 
yet, after nine days of scorching heat, found within 
himself power and energy to rise up from the pit 
and to continue his nefarious designs against God. 
Here is a figure of grand majesty who might well 
impress us. To have withstood such treatment, and 
yet to be able to keep going these are epic propor- 

My adulation of the arch-fiend began to fade how- 
ever with the recognition that if he had been thrown 
out of Heaven once, most of my own generation 
has been thrown out of Heaven twice, and the Devil 
has nothing on us at that point. Our double egress 
from Heaven cannot be said to have the awful 
majesty of the arch-fiend's fall. Rather we have 
been like little urchins chased o u t of Paradise. 
Or perhaps we should admit that the experiences 
have been even more humiliating, like evictions onto 
the sidewalk for non-payment of rent. 

The first of these evictions occurred when we 
were forced to give up our habitation in a heaven 
beyond the skies, a heaven of golden streets and 


seraphic choirs which God was going to provide for 
us. It was science which put us out of that abode. 
The two-story world came tumbling down, and we 
were no longer allowed to think of a happy home 
beyond the blue. 

After that eviction we mortals tried to picture 
another heaven which would be no less sure of re- 
alization than the one we had left. We built it here 
on earth. And to guarantee its inevitable accomplish- 
ment we laid hold of a cluster of ideas about an es- 
sentially good world and an essentially beneficent 
human nature; to these we coupled the idea of an 
inevitable upward progress in the heart of things. 
We began to hope that medical progress would ad- 
vance so rapidly that we ourselves could be kept 
alive to see that heaven come. But that assured 
paradise disappeared as recent tragic events in his- 
tory were analyzed by a critical theology and a re- 
alistic philosophy. There is no more assurance of an 
inevitable heaven on earth than there is of an inevi- 
table heaven in the skies. 

Our present generation is now wandering, lost. 
It is looking for some habitation in which to lodge 
its ideals about the future, but it cannot find one. 
The cloud-girt heaven of Biblical fundamentalism 
was swept away by scientific criticism. An easily- 
asserted heaven on earth has disappeared before the 
forces of critical philosophy in our own day. The 
modern mind is allowed neither a resting place on 
earth nor in the skies. 

But if the arch-fiend of Milton could lift up his 
head after his fall, and regather his faculties unto 
himself, perhaps we can do as much, and by looking 
at our lost Edens discover what was wrong with 
them. Indeed, if we look at the situation rightly, 
may we not discover what is at the very heart of 

I assert that we were twice evicted from heaven 
because, in neither instance, were we good renters. 
We human beings had a terrific propensity for tak- 


ing our habitation for granted. We assumed that a 
good Heavenly Father had provided it for us, that 
he would continue to do so, and that there was little 
we needed to do. In each instance, we, the renters, 
let the property deteriorate sadly. In our first heav- 
en we thought that getting a ritual certificate of 
admission relieved us from all further responsibili- 
ties. In our second heaven we thought that evolution 
would: sweep up the corners and keep the house tidy 
without any effort on our part. In both instances we 
assumed that Heaven was guaranteed without any 
true effort by us. 

That attitude is, at heart, an immoral one. Wil- 
liam James realized that fifty years ago when he 
asserted that human life does not take on any moral 
quality until we recognize that its outcome depends 
on us. As long as we believe that the ultimate end 
of things is in no way dependent upon us we have 
no true interest, no willingness to work for it, no 
moral attitude toward it whatsoever. But if we 
recognize that in some essential way, be it ever so 
slight, human activity does matter in the realization 
of the good end, we are girded with conviction and 
determination to do something about it. To believe 
that good will eventuate in spite of what we do, or 
despite it, is the source of indifference and the be- 
ginning of immorality. A second aspect of our past 
experience with Heaven is that we thought we had 
absolute proof of its existence. But there is no proof 
of heaven in any objective sense. The only way in 
which we can think about heaven is to think about 
it in the way that religious people have always 
thought of it — that is, as a matter of faith. 

By faith I do not mean an irrational discoun- 
tenancing of the findings of science and philosophy, 
an irrational assertion that despite science and phi- 
losophy we will believe anyhow in an assured good 
end of history. Faith is not believing something 
just because we would like to believe it. It is, rather, 
the adoption of a living, active attitude in which our 


lives are dedicated to some great ideal in the hope 
that by such dedication we can bring the ideal into 
reality. That we are willing to work for the ac- 
complishment of heaven, not that we will irration- 
ally believe its existence and expect that it will come 
to us as a gift, is true faith. This kind of faith will 
make a difference in our daily action; we can use 
it as a guide for our present living. This faith we 
can offer as a decent rental for our heaven — and 
when we do we will discover that we will no longer 
be renters of Heaven, but builders of it. 

There are three possible ways in which we may 
have faith about the end of history. We may decide 
that this human life of ours upon a far flung star- 
dust is meaningless and a fantasy. If we believe 
that, all our fellow men ask of us is that we live 
sincerely by our belief and get from it what guid- 
ance and comfort we can. The other two possibili- 
ties are not so far apart. They are that heaven may 
come either on earth or beyond: it, but that, in 
either case, our actions here play an important 
part in bringing it into being. The end is not as- 
sured by any promises or proofs, but if we are will- 
ing to act faithfully for heaven we have the right 
to hope for its realization. This is not gambling 
with life; it is venturing life on the grand scale just 
as we are asked to venture life with initiative and 
daring on every day of our existence. As the writer 
to the Hebrews said long ago, the only evidence we 
have for the things which we do not see is our faith. 
Nay, he said even more. He said that the substance 
of the things we hope for — the substance, the very 
stuff out of which they are made, if you please — is 
our faith. 

The arch-fiend was thrown from heaven once. 
Modern man has been twice evicted. If we do not 
now offer a decent labor for our habitation, I fear 
that our third fall from heaven will be so endless 
and terrible that we would never again find among 
us as Milton to write our doleful epic. 


Vol. XLI OCTOBER, 1943 No. 2 

The Disciples of Christ: 

i^ Their Great Heritage 

I E. S. Ames 

The Disciples dissented from all protestant de- 
nominations in respect to their essential principles. 
They regarded themselves as "reformers" on be- 
half of a non-creedal form of Christianity on which 
a union of all Christians could be advocated. The 
existing denominations were in bitter conflict with 
each other, and the Disciples believed the source 
of their conflicts was the attempt to formulate the 
teaching of the scriptures into human creeds and 
to make salvation depend upon the acceptance of a 
particular creed. Since the Disciples rejected all 
creeds they were naturally unorthodox to every de- 
nomination, sect or party, that adhered to a creed. 
But they did not regard the rejection of any 
creed or of all the creeds as a rejection of the 
Christian faith. They held that this faith could be 
based on the New Testament itself without 
formulation into fixed doctrines however ancient or 
widely believed. This was one vital reason for 
their very rapid growth. Many people were 
tired and scandalized by the warfare or the 
sects and were happy to find a more tolerant and 
a more biblical fellowship. The Disciples taught a 
simple and intelligible view which appealed to prac- 
tical men and women. While they thus dissented 
from the prevalent forms of Protestantism, they 
were not without profound rdigious convictions. As 
is usually true, what were accounted heresies were 
in reality expressions of new forms of faith. The 


Disciples knew themselves to be in the line of a 
great, new development in the history of religioois 
thought, and to belong to a great modern spirit 
which had already emerged in literature, science, 
philosophy, government and art, and was now mak- 
ing itself felt in religion. 

Renaissance Influence 

The Disciples were more influenced by the Re- 
naissance than by the Reformation. This influence 
can be identified in many of their main teachings. 
The Renaissance may be said to have begun with 
the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the consequent 
spread of Greek culture into Europe. In the course 
of three hundred and fifty years it transformed 
science, philosophy, politics, and art, and, in princi- 
ple, religion. The transformation of religion had 
taken place for many individual minds but the 
development of a religious body consonant with this 
new world was yet to be. It was out of the English 
Enlightenment represented by Bacon, Locke, New- 
ton, and others that the "new way of ideas" was 
destined to influence the early Disciples leaders in 
the first decade of the nineteenth century. They saw 
and felt the force of the new learning against the 
scholasticism of the Middle Ages. Aristotle appeared 
no longer merely as the revered authority in formal 
logic and in the use of syllogism in sophisticated 
argument. He was discovered as a scientist, an in- 
terested observer of nature, and of the ways of hu- 
man beings with one another and with the actual 
world about them. A great new world opened upon 
man's vision from the recovered works of the very 
man who had so long been almost exclusively identi- 
fied with metaphysical speculation and empty dialec- 
tic. Knowledge of the Greek language and literature 
stirred men to an exciting, arduous quest to fathom 
the new spirit they expressed, and especially the 


new conception of the dignity and possibilities of 
human nature itself. 

Classical Scholars 

The Disciple leaders were classical scholars and 
were inbued with this zest for understanding the 
treasures and wisdom of the ancient world not 
only among the Greeks and Romans but also among 
the Hebrews and the early Christians, They master- 
ed the biblical languages and literature and felt satis- 
faction in possession of the original words of scrip- 
ture and of the teaching of Jesus found there. They 
did not find theological formula and were convinced 
that the creeds of Christendom distorted and ob- 
scured the teaching and character of primitive 
Christianity. They therefore undertook a **refor- 
mation" for the purpose of recovering the faith and 
spirit of the early church with the hope of promot- 
ing union among the followers of Christ. 

Accepted Higher Criticism 

They thought that reformation should begin with 
a more intelligent and reasonable reading of the 
Bible. It had so long been a closed and inccessible 
book to the common man that it was often approach- 
ed as if it required some special gift to understand 
it. Now it was to be read as any other book, in any 
language, through the established meaning of 
words, by the rules of ordinary grammar and syn- 
tax. Moreover, any book of the Bible should be stud- 
ied with reference to its date, authorship, environ- 
ment, style, and purpose. This was the method which 
came to be known as the "higher criticism." When 
Alexander Campbell applied it to the Old and New 
Testaments he reached the conclusion in his famous 
Sermon on the Law that the two Testaments be- 
longed to different "dispensations" and that the 
New Testament was peculiarly the book for Chris- 
tians. It alone contained the gospel of Jesus Christ 


and was adequate to requirements of the religious 
life. Though the Mosaic books and the writings of 
the prophets had an important place they were not 
the primary source for understanding the Christian 
religion. This insight not only served to clarify and 
illuminate the significance of the teachings of Jesus 
and the history of the Church. It also removed the 
confusion arising for many minds from the conflict- 
ing moral codes of different periods and from the 
bad example of good men! Great systems of theolo- 
gy had been built more upon the Old Testament 
than upon the New. This was true of Calvinism 
whose doctrinal conceptions underlies the teachings 
of the majority of protestant Christians. Those con- 
ceptions relate more to law and justice than to the 
Christian way of Love. 

No Original Sin 

The Renaissance acceptance of the Greek idea of 
the dignity and worth of man also is apparent in the 
views of these reformers. They did not believe in 
human depravity and original sin. Childhood was 
innocent and therefore was not under divine con- 
demnation. When the individual reached the years 
of moral accountability then he should choose for 
himself whether he would become a Christian. The 
doctrine of predestination and election was vigor- 
ously rejected in favor of individual moral responsi- 
bility and power of choice according to the oppor- 
tunities, education, and "lights" of each person. 
Other crucial dotcrines had sprung from the as- 
sumption of original sin. If the individual were born 
in sin and his whole nature therefore polluted, it 
followed that the only hope of his redemption was 
through the action of supernatural grace. The soul 
sunk in its inherited evil could not even initiate a 
step toward the choice of the good life. It must wait 
upon some sign, a vision, dream, or mystical emo- 
tional experience. Many individuals failed to be so 


favored and gave up in despair. In contrast to such 
doctrines the Disciples held that the New Testament 
gave records of the life and teachings of Jesus and 
the requirements for those who would be his follow- 
ers. Whoever accepted these in faith and desired to 
live by them thereby became a Christian and could 
rest assured of his spiritual state through the divine 
mercy and fidelity. 


The process of conversion was likened to that of 
becoming a citizen of the state. There were speci- 
fied steps to be taken and vows of allegiance to be 
made upon the performance of which an alien be- 
came an adopted son and entered into all the rights 
and privileges offered. This experience might be 
highly charged with emotion but its validity and 
worth depended more upon sincerity and consistent 
effort to fulfill the conditions. Thus man was under- 
stood to have something important to do with his 
own salvation. It was an intelligible action and led 
into new relationships and greater incentives for 
living a religious life. 

Whether one's past life had been deeply sinful or 
only careless and indifferent, the change in becom- 
ing a Christian was momentous for it gave the 
greatest possible purpose and meaning to a person's 
life and work. Whatever a man's vocation, he now 
had also a higher calling, that of living in every 
relationship so that he kept in view its bearing upon 
a great moral aim and destiny. He would no longer 
live for himself alone but ^Iso for the widest and 
highest service of love to God and man. Such a con- 
ception of conversion emphasizes a degree of free- 
will and the possibility of some self -direction in both 
the beginning and the pursuit of the religious life. 
This was a congenial message to many frontier peo- 
ple who were daily taking their lives in their hands 
to hew dwellings out of the forest and prairie, and 


to establish livelihoods for themselves and their 
children. However much they realized their depen- 
dence upon powers above and beyond themselves 
they had reason to cherish also the faith that God 
helps those who help themselves. If watchfulness and 
industry were essential to success in the day's work 
it could scarcely be less so in things that pertain to 
the soul's welfare. 

Nature of Churches 

This idea of the dignity and worth of the indivi- 
dual had other important religious implications 
which the Disciples developed and which contributed 
to their rising influence. They regarded the Church 
as a voluntary association of those who desired to 
cultivate and extend the rdigious life. The right of 
such voluntary associations to govern themselves 
and to experiment in ways and methods best suited 
to further their ideals was giuarded with great 
vigilance. Therefore no ecclesiastical organization 
could be tolerated if it sought to impose its authority 
or to deny local initiative and experimentation with- 
in reverent and sane effort to promote religious 
ends. This aversion to official control may be re- 
garded as an expression of an extreme form of in- 
dividualism but it contributes to real freedom in 
connection with protestant insistence on the right of 
private opinion and the interpretation of scripture. 

When carried through in the life of voluntary as- 
sociations this individualism requires some basis 
of cooperation and fellowship which can be main- 
tained without ecclesiastical authority and doctrinal 
uniformity. Such a basis could only be found in 
some other type of solidarity, and this was more or 
less consistently provided by a new venture of union 
upon loyalty to Jesus Christ with full liberty of 
opinion together with freedom of speech. Perhaps 
the Disciples have gone farther in this direction 


than others. At least they have not had real heresy- 
trials and have never devised any method by which 
variations of thought on the part of ministers or 
laymen could be curbed unless it were by a kind of 
exclusion of the oifender from public honors. So 
long as his local church tolerates him he remains 
within that church and also within the whole body. 
If differences are held in good spirit and with mani- 
fest sincerity and genuine devotion to the cause of 
Christ the essential unity of the faith is not broken. 
Too often churches preserve the appearance of peace 
by influencing persons with novel ideas and con- 
structive suggestions to remain silent or to with- 
drew from membership. It is a possible ideal to 
cherish the hope of a religious fellowship in which 
differences are not only tolerated but actually capi- 
talized in the interest of progress and efficiency. 

Christian Union 

This conception suggests the need for more ade- 
quate consideration of the problem of Christian 
union. In most pronouncements on this vital subject 
it seems to be taken for granted that the kind of 
union sought is that of organization, as if it were 
desired that Protestantism should be able to present 
as solid an istitutional front to the world as does the 
Roman Catholic Church. That may be an uncon- 
scious expression of a tendency toward ecclesiastical 
"power politics." Many sayings of Jesus rebuke that 
conception. "My kingdom is not of this world", he 
said. If it were, his followers would arm and fight. 
His injunction to them was that they should love 
one another even if they were enemies! When per- 
sons really love each other they can live happily with 
many differences of opinions and beliefs, and may 
be able to make such differences contribute to the 
richness of their companionship. A notable instance 
of the finest friendship together with profoundest 
philosophical disagreement may be seen in the lives 


of Josiah Royce and William James. Each sharply 
rejected the other's basic ideas but each confessed 
that he gained much from his friend's criticisms. 

A warm and cordial fellowship among the mem- 
bers of a congregation, without doctrinal uniformi- 
ty, or close institutional organization, is a better il- 
lustration of Christian union than such uniformity 
or organization could possibly be where love is lack- 
ing. Real love will develop enough practical agree- 
ment and machinery to further its best achieve- 
ments. To act upon this conviction would bring a 
new and powerful dynamic into Christianity and 
save it from the illusions which still weaken it so 
long as it seeks a "minimum of doctrine" upon which 
to unite. The Disciples have yet to fully learn this 
lesson for themselves but they have given good 
proof through more than a hundred years that they 
can live and work together as a great religious body 
without insisting upon a single doctrinal dogma. Per- 
haps their position with reference to baptism 
comes nearest to such a dogma but they have never 
believed in baptismal regeneration, and they have 
never been willing to say that persons cannot be 
Christians without baptism. There is a growing 
tendency in many of their churches today not to re- 
quire immersion and these churches do not on that 
account lose their Christian status. 

Democracy in Religion 

This procedure in religion was essentially the 
same as the democratic development in the American 
political scene. Both gave play to the new conception 
of the ability of man to direct his life even in the 
most important concerns. Both were revolutions 
against external authority and against the long 
tradition of coercion and compulsion which had 
been exercised by kings and priests. The conserv- 
atives in both government and religion held that 


such liberty for common men would lead to license 
and anarchy. But the statesmen of the new order, 
like Thomas Jefferson, imbued with the conception 
that all men are born free and equal, were willing to 
entrust the welfare of the nation to the reasonable- 
ness and co-operation of the people themsdves. They 
could agree upon a constitution to safguard their 
rights and their liberties, and they could wisely pro- 
vide for amendments to that constitution when new 
conditions arose to require such amendments. The 
intellectual climate of this insurgent political democ- 
racy pervaded the American people, drawn to this 
country as they were to escape religious and govern- 
mental tyranny and oppression. They were accord- 
ingly predisposed by it to welcome an interpreta- 
tion of religion which recognized the right and the 
ability of men and women to interpret the Bible for 
themselves and to organize religious societies free 
from esslesiastical and political control. They wel- 
comed the separation of church and state. The New 
Testament would be their constitution and it would 
be held subject to reinterpretation in the light of 
growing scholarship and experience. 

Democratic faith in the common man operated 
also against the old assoimption of more than the 
professionally specialized difference between minis- 
ters and laymen. The Disciples never have recognized 
any inherent or ceremonially created prerogatives 
possessed by the clergy. Theirs is definitely a lay 
movement, any member, man or woman, being con- 
sidered competent to administer any ordinances or 
functions in the churches. Such practice for a peo- 
ple familiar with Paul's injunction against women 
speaking in a church, could only be justified 'upon the 
basis of his more important statement that there is 
neither male nor female in the religion of Jesus 
Christ. What would churches be without the devoted 
services of women! 


Rise of Science 

By nothing was this belief in the worth and power 
of man more strengthened than by the rise of mod- 
ern science. This was one of the later most striking 
developments of the Renaissance. Copernicus found 
in the writings of the ancient Greeks the idea that 
the earth is spherical and he confirmed that idea by 
thorough mathematical calculations. That was a 
profoundly startling discovery, and led to the yet 
more disconcerting evidence that the earth revolves 
on its axis and that it is not the center of the uni- 
verse with the sun moving around it. Galilee added 
to this the evidence of his tdescope. One simple ob- 
servation may be drawn from the daily rotation of 
the earth which it would be difficult for the tradi- 
tional religious thought to fit into its picture of the 
relation of heaven and earth. By its rotation the 
world would be turned upside down every twelve 
hours, for in that time what was above would be 
below, and what had been below (the depths of hell 
with all its fires and furies) would be in the space 
over man's head ! Other marvels of man's new-found 
courage and awakening curiosity rapidly followed. 
The new continent of America was discovered and 
many courageous voyages opened passage round the 
world, establishing trade routes and giving men 
mastery of the seas. 

Francis Bacon turned attention from the barren 
study of metaphysics and scholastic theology to the 
facts of nature and proclaimed confidently that man 
could make nature serve his wants. His inductive 
logic may seem crude today but there is continuity 
between the spirit and method of his inquiries and 
the marvelous discoveries and inventions of our 
mature scientific research. After all it is the Meth- 
od of modern science which makes it so fruitful and 
so revolutionary. This method constantly illustrates 
Bacon's prophetic assertion, "KnoMedge is power." 


Bacon saw that science offered a way by which 
man could provide more adequately for his needs. 
His vision of the utopia possible in the future was 
described in the New Atlantis. In that vision of what 
science might achieve he anticipated refrigeration, 
flying machines, telephones, microphones, and many 
other devices later achieved. But the most important 
implication of it all was the new sense of the power 
of human intelligence when applied to the actual 

The Seventeenth Century 

The Disciples accepted this view of the importance 
and promise of science with the general conception 
of the nature of man and the world which character- 
izes the modem age. This age is sharply marked by 
the great men of the scientific spirit and by events 
appearing in the seventeenth century which Pro- 
fessor Whitehead calls. The Century of Genius. That 
century follows the period in which the great sys- 
tems of protestant theological thought were formul- 
ated. Calvinism and Lutheranism belong to the old 
world of thought. They were formulated in thfc 
sixteenth century and represent a return to a medi- 
eval worfd view. They were conceived before the 
revolutionary insights of modern biblical criticism 
and modern science were available. Alexander 
Campbell and his associates accepted both higher 
criticism and modern science and made their inter- 
pretation of religion in the light of them. The Disci- 
ples named their first college for Francis Bacon and 
made the natural sciences integral and central in its 
curriculum. Bethany College, founded a little later, 
also recognized the importance of the sciences, and 
revealed its modernism in religious matters still 
more emphatically by specifying in the charter of 
the institution that theology should never be taught 


Rejection of Theology 

This did not mean the exclusion of religion, but 
only the rejection of theological forms and inter- 
pretations of religion. The college was intended to 
train men for the ministry of the Disciples of Christ 
but not by means of theology. Philosophy, in keeping 
with the scientific spirit, was taught, and that is fur- 
ther evidence that theology was very deliberately 
abandoned. That was because theology was bound 
up with scholasticism and with creedal formulations 
of doctrine. The philosophy taught was not the old 
speculative metaphysics but rather the more practi- 
cal, empirical, common-sense philosophy of the En- 
lightenment, especially as represented by John Locke 
whose Essay on the Human Understanding, Letters 
on Toleration, and Reasonableness of Christianity 
were familiar and influential works among educated 
people of the time. From that day the Disciples have 
been largely immune to theology, preferring to deal 
with its problems by the freer disciplines of science 
and philosophy. The strength of this influence is re- 
flected in the fact that while large numbers of Disci- 
ple students for the ministry have attended semi- 
naries where theology is still cherished and taught, 
they have remained remarkably immune to its meth- 
ods and conclusions. 

Loyally to Jesus Christ 

In nothing has this renunciation of old forms of 
thought and speech been more significant than in 
understanding what loyalty to Jesus Christ involves. 
The predominant traditional view held that he must 
be conceived as divine in a supernatural and miracu- 
lous sense. But the biblical terms applied to him 
may be regarded as honorific, expressing devotion 
and the appraisal of affection, of gratitude and ad- 
miration. Wonder, awe, reverence and in a very 
real sense, worship, do not depend upon attributing 


to him a certain metaphysical nature, such as trini- 
tarian theology assumes. Neither is the unitarian 
doctrine more satisfactory. Unitarianism also im- 
plies impossible metaphysical conceptions and has 
not been able to fulfill the honorific attitudes which 
a vital religious faith usually requires. A more bib- 
lical and appreciably practical interpretation is that 
which reverses the order of the terms involved. 
Both trinitarians and unitarians start with a form- 
ulated idea of God and then demand that a con- 
ception of Jesus must be accepted which fits into 
that formulated idea. In contrast, the biblical and 
common-sense solution is to begin with the person 
and life of Jesus and let them determine the idea of 
God! Jesus said, "He that hath seen me hath seen 
the Father." In this way we proceed from Christ- 
ology to God, rather than from Theology to Christ. 
The designation. Son of Man, which Jesus applied 
to himself also yields illumination with reference to 
the nature of man, for it emphasizes a relationship 
which elevates man through the possibilities of at- 
taining a fuller measure of the divine. 

There was no such chasm between the human and 
the divine for the Disciples as there was for the 
Calvinistic theology. For them, in his natural state, 
man was not completely alienated from God; nor 
was God, in his holiness, completely transcendent 
beyond man. It was a father and son relationship. 
God was thought able to make his will clear to man, 
and man was thought able to understand that will 
sufficiently to be guided by it, and to follow it. 

Sacred and Secular 

Separation of the sacred and secular is another 
dualism of the old theology which the Disciples have 
never endorsed. They have regarded nature as an 
area of God's creation as truly as human nature is. 
For them the laws of nature are just as divine as 


those of the "spiritual" world. The order of human 
society — family, business, science, government, 
education — is not alien or indifferent to Christianity. 
These realms are not perfect, it is true, but they all 
have value and may exemplify and further the re- 
ligious life. When the churches assume a "holier 
than thou" attitude toward the "world" they are 
setting up an assumption against a fiction. The 
churches are themselves imperfect enough as the 
quarrels and tensions in many a congregation wit- 
ness. Their redeeming merit is that they do accept 
ideals of the Christian way of life and make serious 
effort to realize them. Their function is to further 
the good wherever it appears and to expose and 
defeat evils. 

This contrast between the sacred and the secular 
in the modem world, has largely centered upon the 
secularism of science, often falsely understood. 
When taken as a method of understanding and con- 
trolling the forces of nature and human nature, 
science has proved to be a possible ally on the side 
of all the goods of life — ^health, food, communication, 
transportation, economic wealth, mental and moral 
strength, and religious fulfillment. More and more 
the scientists recognize their responsibility to society 
and their part in the promotion of human welfare. 
While, in the hands of seilfish and evil men, science 
may be used for base purposes, the same is true of 
religion is the integration of the whole of life under 
the motivation of the generous and constructive 
ideals of the best possible religion. Whenever that 
unity is broken and neglected, conflicts of special 
interests ensue which bring distress, disease, war, 
and social injustice in many forms. 

Natural Goods 

It is a legitimate objective of the Christian reli- 
gion to bring to man the natural goods of life in 
abundance, thereby to provide a greater degree of 


comfort, happiness, and enrichment of life for all 
members of society. The marvelous achievements of 
science in recent centuries and in astonishing cumu- 
lative measure in the decades of the twentieth cen- 
tury have abundantly proved the value of the 
sciences in furthering both the practical and the 
spiritual interests of mankind. They have gone far 
to justify and exemplify the Renaissance dream of 
Francis Bacon and all those who have believed in 
the right and power of the human spirit to find and 
utilize for high ends the measureless resources of 
nature. The chasm which today so much separates 
religion from the most powerful forces of the great 
and growing stream of so-called secular life is due 
in large part to an outworn theology which too much 
segregates the churches, and especially their minis- 
ters, from full appreciation of the power for good 
which inheres in the intelligence and uncorrupted 
good will of vast numbers of educated and socially 
idealistic men and women. The churches need to ap- 
preciate and to share more fully the purpose of 
many socially motivated clubs and professional as- 
sociations which are largely moulded by the modern 
mind. The burden of responsibility for overcoming 
this chasm is mainly upon religious leaders, and 
their most immediate obligation is to reinterpret 
and reconstruct religion in keeping with the wisdom 
and the spirit of the new world which has taken 
shape since the seventeenth century. 

Creation's Lord we give thee thanks 
That this thy world is incomplete, 
That battle calls our marshall'd ranks. 
That work awaits our hands and feet. 

That thou has not yet finished man, 
That we are in the making still 
As friends who share the maker's plan, 
As sons who know the father's will. 


Letter From Percy J. Rice 

2528 Ohio Avenue, South Gate, California 

The November issue of The Scroll reached me 
yesterday and I read immediately your article, "A 
Sense of Direction." 

From the beg'inning- there have been some among 
the Disciples who have picked up the phrases that 
quickly became current in the Movement and re- 
peated them with little appreciation or understand- 
ing" of the basic philosophy of the Movement itself. 
They have constituted a heavy drag upon the Move- 
ment, and their contentions have been the cause of 
most if not all the divisions that have occurred in it. 

Not a few of the second and third generations 
of the Disciples have been afraid to follow the free- 
dom they advocated or to allow other to follow it. 
Therefore they have tried again and again to nail 
down the lid on their own convictions as if they were 
the ultimate expressions of truth, which amounts to 
the same thing as making a creed. Thus they have 
attempted to control preaching in the churches, 
teaching in our colleges and the policies of our mis- 
sionary societies. 

The studies of the origin and development of the 
Movement by the men connected with the Divinity 
House and the Campbell Institute have saved the 
Movement from the terrible fate of becoming a mere 
denomination with rigid doctrinal pronouncements 
and narrow outlook. They have kept alive the 
basic ideals of the reformers themselves and awak- 
ened in the minds of many of the younger men a 
consciousness of mission and the realization of the 
unique importance of the Movement. It is indeed 
heartening to see evidence of a tendency to revive 
the plea for freedom of investigation and action, 
and for unity in which these freedoms shall find 
full expression. 


Books of Substance: 


W. B. Blakemore, Jr. 

Books of Substance, during the past year, has been 
an attempt to indicate some dozen books which 
would provide a "cultural nucleus" for the small 
private library of the average minister. 

Preachers have too little to spend on books. And 
that small amount must be spent wisely. Hundreds 
of books in the religious field alone appear each 
year. These are reviewed by the journals, and the 
reader occasionally finds one which fills a felt need. 
But the great majority of books are only building 
Mocks in the hall of knowledge. None of us can 
afford to buy every book, and we could never find 
time to read them if we could buy them. What we 
need are descriptions of parts of the palace, descrip- 
tions which sum up what has been accomplished so 
far in the building. In a sense, our books of sub- 
stance have been reports on the sections of the vast 
hall of learning. 

The Disciples of Christ have always believed that 
theology apart from a comprehension of the wider 
culture of man is meaning^less. We have tried to 
suggest a few works which v/ould help to convey 
that wider cultural basis. Durant's Story of Civiliza- 
tion gives a broad survey of history. Histories of 
segments of civilization have been suggested as 
follows : 

Science: Charles Singer, A Short History of 

Theology: A. C. McGiffert, A History of Chris- 
tian Thought 

Ideas: J. H. Randall, Jr., The Making of the 
Modern Mind 

The American Scene: Vernon Parrington, Main 
Currents of American Thought 


Art : Helen Gardner, Art Through the Ages 
P. H. Lang: Music in Western Civilization 
R. Schoolman & C. E. Slarkin : The Enjoyment 
of Art in America 

We also suggested Goode's School Atlas for an 
acquaintance with the world which we inhabit. Con- 
temporary thinking in areas relevant to religion is 
surveyed in Edna Heidbreder's Seven Psychologies 
and Burtt's Types of Religious Philosophy. G. H. 
Mead's Mind Self and Society was suggested because 
of its germinal quality, a work which provokes your 
mind with regard to the relationship between men 
and society and the place in human life. 

The list is not complete. We have not suggested 
a substantial survey of the contemporary scene in 
our country. We have not suggested a compre- 
hensive survey of the present state of scientific 
knowledge. Nor has belletristic literature been men- 
tioned. Apart from these lacks, the list does give 
what could wisdy be a cultural basis for a small 

What are your reactions to Books of Substance? 
Has it been helpful? Do you have other titles to 
suggest? We have a project for next year. It is 
Books of Religious Substance which would suggest 
works in the various areas of religious knowledge 
which are substantial basic reference works. Hav- 
ing laid the broad cultural foundations for a library, 
we see some sense in following it with an attempt to 
discriminate helpfully in the narrower field which is 
our common interest. 

Irvin E. Lunger has been on vacation during 
June, visiting his parents in Pennsylvania. W. C. 
Bower preached one Sunday, E. S. Ames one Sun- 
day, and B. Fred Wise one Sunday. All the Broth- 
erhood, so appreciative of his songs, should know 
that Fred Wise can preach fine sermons, too! 


Who Is Abel for This? 

1. This post (Professor of Religion) calls for a 
man who, in temperament and ability and training, 
is fitted for teaching, administration, and promotion. 

2. He must be a man who will be happy and en- 
thusiastic in taking the story of the college to the 
brotherhood: speaking at conventions, preaching in 
churches, counseling with ministers throughout the 
state on their problems, recruiting candidates for 
the ministry, going to small churches and arranging 
for student pastorates and following up placements 
by advising these students in their pastoral duties. 

3. He must be a liberal thinker, in the Disciple 
tradition, who believes that the things which are 
best in our cultural, artistic, and scientific progress 
are inspired by Christian faith and in harmony 
with the laws of God. 

4. He must be prepared to share with other facul- 
ty members in planning a curriculum for ministerial 
preparation, and in teaching the courses in this 

5. He must be prepared to teach some non-pro- 
fessional courses in religion and possibly related 

6. He must be prepared to take a leading part in 
the building of Christian institutions within the 
college community. 

7. He must have at least one degree representing 
graduate or professional study above the under- 
graduate level, or be within one or two summer 
sessions of attaining such degree. He must be will- 
ing to spend an occasional summer in additional for- 
mal preparation. 


From a Church Bulletin 

This is an Ecumenical Church, part of a universal 
brotherhood with a world-wide program and a gos- 
pel that is "God's saving power" to everyone. Here 
the most ancient object of religion, the Altar, is 
made central rather than the pulpit. Here a con- 
gregation worshipping takes the place of an audi- 
ence listening. Here, where the Sacraments are ob- 
served, the whole universe is seen to be Sacramental 
— Peachtree Christian Church, Atlanta, Georgia. 


Two recent contributors to the Scroll have 
written the Editor letters in reference to their 
manuscripts. C. C. Klingman thanked us for being 
allowed to "unload." Dean Lhamon was grateful 
for a chance to "blow off." This all sounds a little 
as if the editor's desk were being littered with time 
bombs. Anyway, it is a type of bombardment which 
is welcome, and if others would follow suit and send 
along some incendiary articles on hot subjects per- 
haps the Scroll would set the world on fire con- 

In the^pring of last year. Dr. Clifford S. Weaver 
marked Two anniversaries. He has been in the 
Christian ministry for fifty years and in his present 
pastorate. First Christian Church, McKinney, 
Texas, for twenty-two years. The latter anniver- 
sary was marked by the acceptance of a call for the 
indefinite prolongation of his present post. Dr. 
Weaver is a native of the Spoon River district in 
Illinois, and with Mrs. Weaver spent several years 
as a missionary in India. 


Speak-up or Be Still 

Chaplain Robert L. Schock 

The November 1942 edition of the Scroll had an 
article on "A Sense of Direction" by E. S. Ames, 
concerning the historical position of the Disciples of 
Christ. Each month I have diligently read the Scroll 
for a good follow-up on this theme. I have been 
disappointed. Surely this theme should striike a 
greater response from our brotherhood than has 
been evident. Periodically I have reread this article 
and to me it becomes progressively important. It 
is my firm conviction that it stated a vital factor 
that all ministers must consider, if our brotherhood 
is to make its proper contribution to human life and 
to go further; and the Protestant Church is to take 
its rightful place. 

Either we have a contribution to make or we do 
not. We have brought something new to Protestant- 
ism or we have not. We have stated, preached and 
rendered a new interpretation of Jesus, or we have 
not. We have set up an organization bigger than 
denominationalism or we have not. We have rein- 
terpreted the teachings of Jesus in his own spirit 
to take in people of all sects, creeds and beliefs, and 
advocated loyalty to Christ in love and spiritual 
companionship that supercedes the past or we have 
not. We have something new, something big, some- 
thing vital or we have nothing, and we are then 
only an imitation of the other Protestant Denomina- 

I maintain that if we have these things and have 
done these things then we ought to feel that it is 
imperative to say more about them and frankly do 
something brave, bold and courageous about them. 
If we do not have them (and so much silence upon 
the subject implies that we have not or that no one 


is interested) then we have no justifiable right to 
our existence and should therefore rejoin the groups 
from which we sprang. 

For the last seven years I have seen a good cross- 
section of our American youth, and what they are 
thinking is important. From these men will come 
the future leadership of our nation and Churches. 
My work with them has impressed me more and 
more with the importance of the facts that E. S. 
Ames has stated and the vital necessity for a greater 
and broader statement of our position. 

It is self-evident that the young men I have been 
working with and the ones I am laboring with now 
are conspicuous in their churches for their absence. 
There must be some reasons that are very good as 
to why they are not interested in the churches and 
are not loyal to them at home. I do not know all of 
the answers (does anyone?) but some facts have 
made themselves glaringly apparent in the past and 
present time. 

The first one is this. These young men are not 
interested in the Church but they are interested in 
religion. I have yet to find a man who is not in- 
terested in religion. I have yet to find a man who 
is not interested in his relationship to God and what 
God may expect of him. They are not interested in 
church history, church politics, church ritual but 
they are interested in knowing what (if anything?) 
the Church has to offer them. They are not interested 
in arguments for the self preservation of denomina- 
tions but they are interested in what these denom- 
inations are doing, not to defend themselves but 
doing in relationship to life and their lives person- 
ally. Having no great religious training and thus 
no knowledge of creeds, rituals, church history, dog- 
ma and theology, they judge the church from the 
externals which they see and not from the internals 
which they do not know and from this point of view 


the church is weighed in the balance and found 
wanting. Judging from what they can see of the 
average external action of a given church or group 
of churches in a community they see no community 
action, no local action, very few if any lives that 
show an external evaluation of the Christian way of 
life and we are weighed in the balance and found 
wanting. From their reading and the few times 
they have attended Church they have learned that 
the ministers at least consider the Church to be the 
most valuable and important factor in human life. 
A factor that is worth giving one's all and one's 
own life. They know he means this not only in rela- 
tionship to himself but also to all church members. 
Again they look at this externally to see if it is 
manifest in human life and observe the churches in 
their communities struggling for existence. The 
building badly in need of repair, the lawns over-run 
with weeds, the educational work not even taken 
seriously and we are weighed in the balance and 
found waiting. STILL, these same young men (and 
this is a fact) believe in God, (in their own way, of 
course) ; are hungry for God; believe that religion 
has something for them but they are unable to find 
it in the Church. 

Almost without exception when I have become 
personally acquainted with these men and they have 
opened their hearts to me, I find they are starving 
in their souls for a sense of the reality of God. They 
are interested in religion vitally. They are ready to 
accept Jesus and his way of life; they believe that 
the Jesus way is the only way on which we will ever 
have peace and happiness but they do not see the 
Churches as the leading exponents of these facts 
and they do not look to the churches for leadership 
in this way, because, from their external point of 
view, we have been weighed in the balance and have 
been found wanting. 


They have found us interested in righteousness 
but not in the sinner (except in the abstract). They 
have found us interested in salvation on our own 
terms but not in terms that take in all of God's chil- 
dren. They have found us willing to send mission- 
aries to China, Japan, India, South America, Africa 
and Tibet but they have not found us willing to wor- 
ship with these people in our own churches. They 
have found us preaching brotherhood but not prac- 
tising it. They have found us preaching unity but not 
practising it. They have found us preaching unity 
but not utilizing or really seeking to accomplish it. 
They have found us appealing for fellowship in 
Christ Jesus but offering it only on our terms and not 
willing to fellowship on any other terms. They have 
found 'US willing to talk about the Ecumenical 
Church and World Brotherhood but not willing to 
sacrifice anything to make it possible. They have 
weighed the Church in the balance and found it 
wanting. (I know, from our point of view the scales 
were loaded. But our view point is not the only view 
point and other people must be met not from a pre- 
conceived point of view, but at the point in which 
they actually live.) 

That these facts are true is borne out by the work 
of the Chaplains in the Army, where for the Protest- 
ant Chaplains it is especially true that no particular 
church is self-evident. The Chaplains are accepted 
as men of God and not as a particular kind of men 
of God. The result is illuminating and I believe all 
Chaplains will bear me out in this. The men are 
attending religious services in unprecedented thou- 
sands. In fact 5,234,494 during the month of March 
1943. Now you will say, "Yes, but this is war time 
and the men are facing death." That is not entire- 
ly true. I am sorry that I did not complete this 
article when it was first conceived back in 1937 be- 
fore we were thinking of war, as today. Now I lay 


myself open to the fact that we are fighting a war 
and people are returning to the Church. 

I protest this thought as far as the Army is con- 
cerned. They are not returning to the Church in 
the strict sense of the word. They, in their own point 
of view, have never left God, and their belief, inade- 
Q'uate as it was, kept them content in peace time. 
However their knowledge of God and religion was 
not great enough to bear them up in time of stress, 
strain and war, so they are turning to the Church 
for help. But let me point out this fact. They are 
not returning out of loyalty to the Church. They 
are not returning out of loyalty to a denomination. 
They are not returning to support the Church in 
time of need. They are turning to God, not the 
Church. They are seeking to find God, to find as- 
surance, to find peace, to recover strength and hope 
and faith in the ultimate outcome of righteousness. 
The Church which feeds the souls of men in this day 
will grow and become powerful. The Church which 
can interpret God and his son Jesus to the people in 
such a manner will find the people flocking into its 
sanctuary and overflowing its confines. The Church 
which can in its worship service give rest, peace and 
assurance in the presence of God and interpret the 
life of Jesus to meet the needs of today and show a 
method by which these teachings will unite all man- 
kind will be the most powerful force on earth. 

The Chaplains in the Amy are able to meet this 
need because of their seeming lack of differences, 
of desire among most of them to present the basic 
facts of God and religion, leaving out the unessen- 
tials and matters of a divisive nature. The response 
from the men is stupendous. The result is that these 
thousands of men in the Army are not only renewing 
their faith in God and gaining their desires but also 
are being given a good education in the practical side 
of the teachings of Jesus that will make itself mani- 


f est in the future. They are also being imbued with 
a new concept of the Church that they have not had 
before, and when they return to civilian life most of 
them will renew their church membership and fel- 
lowship or unite with the Church for the first time. 
Therein and herein is the rub. I see a great danger 
in this fact. They are going to return once, twice 
and thrice but not the fourth, fifth and hundredth 
time unless the church can and does give them the 
message and leadership that they are seeking and 
so badly need. 

The Army and the Chaplain have by their actions 
and words taught them that all denominations can 
worship together, pray together, work together, and 
fellowship together. They have learned that although 
Communion is served in different ways, and some 
use wine and some use grape juice, it is still com- 
munion and it is not the method but the spirit and 
meaning that is important. They have learned that 
there are different ways of baptism but also that 
the method is not all important. It is clear from the 
experiences of Army Chaplains that we can work 
together, fellowship together, worship together and 
pray together and still have our differences of 
opinion. The important point is not so much the 
method as the fact of worship, not so much the form 
of prayer as the fact of prayer. 

The finer forms of prayer and worship come 
later. The result of these facts will have a great 
effect on our churches in the next decade. We Disci- 
ples will not be immune from some severe shocks to 
our fundamental beliefs. For instance, a soldier in a 
foreign country decides he had better accept Jesus 
.as His Lord and Saviour. He goes to his Chaplain 
(the only one at hand) and makes his good confess- 
ion. He asks for baptism. However the Chaplain is 
not a "Disciple Chaplain", does not understand im- 
mersion and does not know how to do it. (What man 
can censure him for his lack of Knowledge?) Per- 



haps it may be on a desert and there is no water 
available. Therefore the Chaplain does the very best 
he can to the best of his ability. The young man is 
sprinkled. I am certain that you will agree with me 
that if this boy should be killed in action he would 
find his name written in the roll of the kingdom of 
God and find a welcome there. I am certain that 
God would consider his confession and baptism as 
adequate. However, suppose that the soldier is not 
killed. He goes through the searing hell of the battle- 
field assured that God is with him and he is saved. 
He returns to his home after the war. He returns to 
the Church, and asks that his name be included in 
the roll. (Now you see what I mean.) He will prob- 
ably find he has not been saved (according to our 
preconceived concepts) and that his name, although 
written on the roll of the Kingdom of God, cannot 
be written on the Church roll. Unless a miracle 
happens, I assure you that man will not enter the 
Church doors again, and his life to the Church will 
be lost forever. 

The above illustration will not be a rarity. You 
can anticipate many thousands over the United 
States. The Churches must consider this point. 
Whether not to write his name and lose him forever 
as far as the Church is concerned. 

I can, however, paint a very much better picture 
for the "Disciples of Christ," for this one point is 
about the only point that the "Disciples of Christ" 
will have any difficulty in meeting. The Disciples 
of Christ with their stand on unity, their interpre- 
tation of the Bible, their presentation of Jesus, their 
attitude towards fellowship, their plea and concept 
of God are the only body in the world that is in a 
position to accept these thousands of men when the 
war is over and give them a Church home that will 
meet their need. 

That is, IF we Disciples of Christ make our plea 
known, our position known, our interpretation 


known and our fellowship a reality. Gentlemen of 
the Ministry, I plead with you to preach as you have 
never preached before on the meaning, interpreta- 
tion and fellowship of our Brotherhood. Ours is the j 
opportunity of a thousand years of history. We are 
standing at the cross roads of religious history. We 
will fail or succeed in so far as we make ourselves 
and our position known. Let us advertise it to the 
uttermost parts of the world. Raise our voices like 
claps of thunder over the nations. Let us present 
once and for all our historical opposition and receive 
the millions who are yearning and hungry for what 
we have, but do not know what we have, and there- 
fore know not where to turn. 

In other words, with our position in mind we are 
in a position to accept millions of young men into 
our brotherhood who are already thinking in our 
terms. Millions who are yearning for God and his 
Kingdom, but will never find it in the average Pro- 
.testant Church. In as much as dogma, theology, 
creeds, denominational integrity mean nothing to 
them, our position is so much in the line of their 
thinking that if they knew of it, they would welcome 
it and receive it. If we accept this challange we need 
not fear for the future, but if we accept it not, then 
let us step aside, and return whence we came. 

Oliver Harrison, now pastor at Corpus Christi, 
Texas, gets out an interesting church paper called, 
The Church Visitor. In the last issue he tells his 
people "How to Attend Church." We quote one 
paragraph: "The services of most churches are not 
by any means all they should be. One finds there, 
at least occasionally, poor preaching, bad music, 
antiquated theology, ugly architecture, and hypo- 
critical people. Yet one also finds there sincerity, 
beauty, devotion, depth, earnestness about moral 
values. What you find in church depends in part 
at least on what you look for." 


Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. DeGroot 

Wayne Braden, Lodi, 0., writes that an auto 
accident "demolished the car and quasi-demolished 
me," but he sent in dues as a sign that life goes on. 
With a shortage of contentions likely, J. Barbee 
Robertson wants to know whether the Institute can 
plan a couple of District meetings. John Ray Ewers, 
Pittsburgh, says concerning my Prometheus Bound 
dues dun, "Here we do rot bill people poetically; 
we shout, 'You cheap skate, pay up.' " Only a friend, 
such as Henry K. Shaw, Medina, 0., would take 
liberties with my name and say, "Dear friend 
DueGroot: Dues due and I do'ed it!" 

S. J. Carter, St. Petersburg, Fla., responded to 
our classical appeal because, says he "It comes from 
the campus on which I acquired my classical educa- 
tion, long, long ago." That indomitable youngster, 
Wm. Mullendore, Franklin, Ind., writes: 

Dear Brother DeGroot, 

I have no horn to toot, 

But I know nothing so terse 

As your threat of blank verse. . . . 
so he sent dues to prevent such a calamity. G. Edwin 
Osborn, Enid, Okla., reviewed in memory our many 
duns and said, "Fiscality, Necessity, Dead Horses, 
Invincibility; yes — but blankety blank verse! 
Never!" He likewise contributed to stop such a 

I have never been able to catch Henry Pearce 
Atkins, Cincinnati, short of a reply. To my Pro- 
metheus Bound quotation he replied with a line from 
Prometheus Unbound : "To suffer woes which Hope 
thinks infinite. This alone is Life, Joy, Empire, and 
Victory," and put an asterisk on the word "infinite" 
with the note, "Federal taxes included !" 



What I like about the Institute is its camaraderie. 

Behold the father of one of our college presidents 

writing poetry for this page, Richard Dickinson, 

Eureka, 111., writes : 

Here is my check, when it is due, 
But I like sassy blank verse too. 
So publish sample blank verse dun 
Thus let the paid-ups share the fun. 
We'll compromise, and let unpaid members share 

the wealth with the Financial Secretary. 

We are glad that others in fellowship worry about 
the finances of the Institute. Geo. W. Reynolds 
writes from the Lake Placid Club, in the Adiron- 
dacks, suggesting that we prepare billheads and 
dun the brethren in good old fasshion. He complains 
that he has never received a bill. If others want it 
done, send a card to this effect — we aim to please 
in such matters. 

Who would have thought that the letterheads of 
a Federal agency would have aspired to conveying 
such a literary masterpiece as we received from 
Chas. 0. Lee, of the Social Security Board, Shreve- 
port. La. He writes under "reply to your memoran- 
dum No. AYZ^674,321"— 

Enclosed, by heck, is a little check. 

It will, I hope, be sufficient dope 

To sound "all clear" on the record dear. 

From here on out, without a doubt, 

I'll do my best to keep abreast 

Of annual dues, to get the news 

Of Discipliana, sans discepanciana. 

Just to prove that the spirit of Spring holds on 
into Autumn, I give you the latest eflervesence of 
W. F. Bruce, Oklahoma City : 

Herewith is my arrearage. 

'Tmay lift me up from the steerage 

On to an upper deck. 



Submerged no more to my neck. 

'Twill pay you for my Scroll 

And help that militant roll 

To go on freeing notions 

From too-often warped emotions. 

Speaking of appreciation, hear Fernando Hooker 
Groom's response to our dues card: "I love the 
Campbell Institute and expect to belong until I die 
unless I am kicked out. I am proud also to be a 
Drake-ite, classmate of Will Schullenberger and 
Grundy Fisher. Next Sunday I begin my 23rd year 
with this great church" (Franklin Circle, Cleve- 
land). Other delightful letters have come from 
Hugh T. Morrison, now at Tuscon, and D. D. Dugan, 
Ashland Ky. Sam Freeman Little Rock, Ark., hits 
the spot when he says, "A notable goal is that in- 
gathering of 1,000 members. We can do it. I'll get 
my share." We have added thirteen new C. I. 
members since that meeting in August. It is now 
necessary to print eight hundred copies of the Scroll. 

I have been having all living contributors to the 
1917 voilume. Progress, inscribe their autographs in 
my copy. With the return of the book from John Ray 
Ewers, he writes: "How ancient it all sounds. No 
radio, no World War II, no Riverside Church, no 
Townsendism no "groupers' only The Standard! 
How I would like to re-write my chapter (true as it 
is). Why not get out another book?" Well, why 

This will not be the first time that Washington 
has been played against Atlanta, but I can't miss 
the opportunity to let someone else do my messy 
work. J. Warren Hastings of National City Church 
writes to enclose two dollars, and adds, "I imagine 
this must pay me up for many years to come." 
"Jackie" always did have a good imagination ! Now, 
I place his good record of annual $2 payments over 


against the opening sentence of the epistle of Robert 
W. Burns, of Peachtree Church, " Here is the dollar 
as payment for my dues." And that from a former 
officer of the Institute ; ! This is as subtle as I know 
how to be in my approach to the Bishop of Atlanta. 

Enclosed, by heck, is a little check. 

It will, I hope, be sufficient dope 

To sound "all clear" on the record dear. 

From here on out, without a doubt, 

I'll do my best to keep abreast 

Of annual dues, to get the news. 

Of Discipliana, sans discrepanciana. 

Thus writes Chas. 0. Lee, of the Social Security 
Board, Shreveport, La., — on official stationery. This 
provese that there is an appreciation of the better 
things of life in the highest government circles. 

In his interesting article on A. B. Philputt, in 
the Standard of June 13, Dean Kershner makes this 
surprising comment: "The truth of the matter is 
that the Disciples are not co-operative enough to 
handle the big-city problem. They are pre-eminently 
individualists committed to union in the abstract 
and to separation in the concrete. They have some 
of the finest theories in the world, and some of the 
poorest practices." The Dean of the School of 
Religion at Butler ought to know! 

It was quite a sensation years ago when the D.D. 
degree was conferred on B. B. Tyler by Drake Uni- 
versity. That was an innovation and was criticized 
as a departure from simple New Testament practice. 
Now Drake has conferred the D.D. on two of its 
well known, middle-of-the-road graduates, J. A. 
Dillinger, the state secretary of Iowa, and S. Grundy 
Fisher, pastor of University Park Church, Indiana- 
polis. Another more conservative school conferred 
the same degree this year on some one! 


Vol. XLI. NOVEMBER, 1943 No. 3 

The Disciples of Christ 

Their Unique Opportunity Today 

The signs of promise for the Disciples of Christ 
today are to be found in their growing appreciation 
of the importance of the spirit over the letter of 
New Testament teaching. They have always been 
insistent on loyalty to the teaching of Jesus, and in 
many periods of serious conflict have found their 
way out by remembering that the letter kills but 
the spirit gives life. That is an injunction difficult 
to follow, for in many cases the letter of scripture 
is plain and simple, whereas the spirit of the 
teaching may seem vague and inadequate for definite 
guidance. Illustrations of dilemmas arising from this 
conflict are abundant in the history of the Disciples. 

The Question of Slavery 

One of the most crucial concerned the question of 
slavery during the Civil War. Jesus gave no specific 
word against slavery. Paul expressed a tolerant at- 
titude when he exhorted masters to be kind to their 
slaves, and slaves to be obedient to their masters. He 
sent back to Philemon the slave, Onesimus, and was 
so anxious to have Philemon receive him that he 
agreed to repay Philemon for whatever wrong or 
loss the slave might have occasioned by running 
av/ay. Thomas Campbell published in The Millenial 
Harbinger for 1845 a collection of biblical passages 
approving slavery but asserted that Christians 
should not approve it! Alexander Campbell, in the 
same year, held slavery to be a matter of "opinion" 
and would not advocate expelling slave holders from 
church membership. For him, the letter of scripture 
did not make slavery a sin or flatly incompatible 


with either master or slave being a Christian. He 
did regard slavery as an economic evil and as in- 

How does it come about, then, that slavery is re- 
garded by Disciples and all other Christians as in- 
consistent with Christianity and intolerable within 
Christian society? The spirit of Jesus and of his 
followers is against it. The scriptural warrant for 
denunciation and rejection of slavery is found in the 
principles and tendencies of the teaching of the 
New Testament. Those principles stress the worth 
of human beings, the importance of freedom, the 
value of mutual love and respect. The acceptance of 
these principles has abolished slavery. 

The Spirit Versus Letter 

The spirit that gives life is not so easily formulat- 
ed as the letter that kills. The magnitude of the dif- 
ference, however, may be seen very clearly in the 
contrast which Jesus made between the old and the 
new conceptions of moral obligations. He was care- 
ful to explain that the new did not destroy the old 
but rather fulfilled it. The new goes beyond the out- 
ward deed to the motive and impulse from which the 
deed arises. "Ye have heard that it was said by them 
of old time. Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I 
say thou shalt not look on a woman to lust after her. 
Ye have heard it said thou shalt not forswear thy- 
self, but I say swear not at all. . . Ye have heard it 
said. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but 
I say resist not evil. . . Ye have hear it said. Thou 
shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I . 
say, love your enemies. If you are sued for your 
coat give your cloak also, and if any one compelis you 
to go with him a mile, go with him two miles." The 
spirit of these sayings is unmistakable. It is lavishly 
generous, non-calculating, big-hearted, sportsman- 
like to the limit. He lived by that spirit himself, 
silent in the face of unjust accusations, forgiving to- 


ward those who crucified him, showing no patroniz- 
ing attitude toward publicans and sinners, multi- 
plying forgiveness seventy times seven. 

A New Idea of Cod 

Jesus said that is God's way. That is the "perfec- 
tion" toward which man should strive. Here he set 
forth, both in word and example, a new idea of 
God. This idea goes far beyond the austere, vengeful 
God of the old law, and far beyond the vindictive 
God of Calvinism who could condemn innocent in- 
fants as well as men and women to endless torment 
in unspeakable suffering. The God of Jesus was a 
God of love, of forgiveness, of generosity, of meas- 
ureless patience. It is unthinkable that such a being 
could insist 'Upon the legal minutiae of a "plan of 
salvation" that would require meticulous observance 
of arbitrary forms or punish unconscious and irres- 
ponsible evil-doers with vindictive wrath. 

The Disciples have not always lived by this spirit 
that gives life, or interpreted by it God's dealings 
with man. They have too often allowed the legalistic 
and formal letter of the New Testament to obscure 
the generous mind of Christ. One reason for this was 
their interpretation of the Letter to the Hebrews. 
Here they found the idea that the generous treat- 
ment of people which he practiced during his life- 
time was superceded after his death by a more form- 
al priestly system. They accepted the idea that dur- 
ing the life of a man he may bestow his gifts as he 
will, but that after his death his riches are distrib- 
uted only according to the specifications of his testa- 
ment or will. In effect this was to say that in his life 
Jesus could forgive sin and take people into his com- 
pany by any word of welcome or gesture of invita- 
tion, but that after his death persons could only 
attain the benefits of his love by the one formal, 
specified pattern. 


Before and After Pentecost 

In other words the gospel of Christ was different 
after Pentecost. It was, then, some taught, that the 
gospel was once for all delivered which could mediate 
the mercies of God forevermore. Hence the import- 
ance attached to the book of Acts. There was to be 
found the pattern of the early Church and the steps 
by which persons could become members of it. This 
meant that the administration of the will of the 
testator must now be carried out in the terms laid 
down in that will. Hence a leading editor of a Disci- 
ple journal could recently give a lecture upon the 
theme : The Sermon on the Mount is Not the Gospel. 
His argument was that the Gospel was not in effect 
until after Pentecost, because it could only be in 
effect after the death of Christ. The forgiveness of 
sin depended upon that death, upon the sacrifice it 
involved. Thereby it became possible for Divine 
Grace to operate and to save those who complied 
with the conditions specified. Sermons were preached 
on the Gift of the Holy Spirit which dwelt entirely on 
the requirements stated, upon compliance with which 
a person would receive that gift. Nothing was said 
of the effects of having received it, of the fruits of 
the Spirit which should be manifest and appreciable 
in the behaviour and character of the individual! 

Following Jesus 

The view of conversion held generally by the 
Disciples has been a more practical and intelligible 
one. They have regarded the matter in terms of the 
living ministry of Jesus, and in terms of the avail- 
able knowledge of his life and teaching today. Every- 
where he came in contact with people who were at- 
tracted by his words and who arose and followed him 
without any formal ceremony. Zaccheus saluted him 
and Jesus went home to dinner with him, which was 
an acknowledgment to every one that Jesus received 


him into the fellowship of his followers. "And Jesus, 
walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, 
Simon and Andrew, casting a net into the sea. And 
he said unto them, Follow me and I will make you 
fishers of men. And they left their nets and followed 
him." That was conversion. It was a change of direc- 
tion, of purpose, and of allegiance which held them 
through the long, hard way of their discipleship to 
the day of their death. Changes like these are 
profound. They are transformations of personality 
and character. The outlook on the world becomes dif- 
ferent, new associations are occasioned, habits, tem- 
per, 'Usefulness are made over. Effects like these are 
the marks of real conversion wherever and however 
they occur. There is no one formula necessary to 
make them vailid. The significance of the experience 
is in what the individual is converted to. The process 
is much the same whether it is a change in politics, 
morals, or philosophy, and it is a change not once 
for all accomplished but one which recurs with every 
important advance in any field of interest. 

Union Through Love 

The importance of the spirit over the letter is 
particularly seen in the main concern of the Disc- 
pies throughout their history, that is, union. They 
knew from the first that it could not be attained by 
the letter of doctrinal authority. Every attempt in 
religious history to impose such uniformity has 
proved divisive. Union is only real where it is a 
matter of free fellowship, permeated by intelligence, 
sympathy and mutual forbearance. When these are 
present nothing can really disrupt a group. This fact 
does not mean that the union of good fellowship is 
easily achieved. Human nature is so much subject 
to misunderstanding, jealousy, envy, lack of vision, 
and ambition for leadership, that the affections and 
generous good will have to be constantly guarded 


and zealously cultivated. This problem can only be 
met by self-training in patience, piety, and regard 
for the greatness of the ends sought. It must be 
humbly felt to be the "will of God," and therefore 
something profound enough and valuable enough to 
overcome the frictions and conflicts that would 
thwart its realization. One hope for the triumph of 
the spirit is that it dwells most readily with the hum- 
ble in heart and is often found in those who can 
boast no status of wealth or class or learning or 
power. But it may belong to those in high places, as 
in the case of Lincoln among the statesmen, Spinoza 
among philosophers, Francis of Assisi among those 
born to wealth and station, Pasteur among the 
scientists and numberless unnamed and unsung 
followers of Jesus Christ. That this quality of love 
may come to full flower in human life is proved by 
all those who manifest it, and that it is capable of 
being radiated and cultivated in further ranges of 
human life is the reasonable faith of all who bdieve 
in its value and in the susceptibility of mankind to 
enlightenment and refinement. It is the soul of reli- 
gion and the strength of every religious movement in 
the degree it is present. 

Practical Ways To Union 

Here is the opportunity of the Disciples of Christ 
today (as it is in reality the opportunity of every 
religious body). The Disciples have so nearly freed 
themsdlves from every vestige of the old doctrines 
and have so clearly avowed the rejection of all 
doctrines as tests of fellowship, that they might con- 
ceivably set themselves to the task of deepening 
their own experience of union among themsdves 
and with others by more adequate understanding 
and practice of the spirit of union. There are means 
at hand today beyond those available in any past 
time for the promotion of an undogmatic fellowship. 
There are three ways to promote this spirit of union. 


One is to engage more actively in the great social 
causes to which the churches are already pledged, 
such as missions, community welfare, and coopera- 
tion with organizations and forces already in oper- 
ation. Another is to cultivate appropriate attitudes 
and emotional conditioning within the family. In 
many instances parents do set themselves to cultivate 
for themselves and their children the homely virtues 
of piety, kindliness, cooperation, forgiveness, and 
social idealism. The Friends have succeeded to a 
remarkable degree in creating these qualities, and 
many families exemplify them under the influence of 
the Christian faith in its various forms. The quali- 
ties needed are precisely those which many modern 
systems of education profess and seek to build into 
the character of childhood and youth. What is yet 
required is more thorough determination to use all 
possible means — eugenics, psychology, and social 
incentives of high voltage. The world has seen two 
peoples, Russians and Germans, transformed in their 
individual and social objectives and attitudes, within 
less than a generation. If this could be done for the 
interests these systems represent, it is at least im- 
pressive evidence that vast numbers of people could 
be influenced toward nobler, greater ends. 

A third means would be for each religious body 
to take inventory of itself to discover the elements 
and characteristics within it that could best be 
developed toward this great objective of union. It is 
a problem of creating the right kind of morale. The 
Disciples of Christ already are characterized by a 
high morMe as to the importance of their plea for 
union. In spite of many cross currents this ideal has 
been their rallying center for more than a century. 
Probably with them it has been too much a theory 
and an argument. Would it be impossible to get them 
to see and feel that it must also be a matter of 
practice, a testing of desire and will to find the way 


to create an irenic spirit? Is it inconceivable that 
local congregations should be able to soften asperi- 
ties when these arise between individuals or between 
groups, for the sake of the Cause they seek to serve? 

Answers To Neo-Orthodoxy 

The Disciples are bound by their history and by 
their convictions to oppose fixed theological inter- 
pretations of Christianity because those interpreta- 
tions are divisive and generate discord. Their pro- 
tests against the old doctrines are needed today 
more than at any time since the early nineteenth 
century, for the same old doctrines have been re- 
vived, especially in the denominations where they 
have only been obscured but never really discarded. 

This "neo-orthodoxy" needs to be answered by 
the presentation of "a more excellent way." That 
better way is the cultivation and proclamation of a 
non-theological Christian faith. A weakness of neo- 
orthodoxy is that it asserts certain dogmas as es- 
sential to being a Christian, and one of these doc- 
trines which is the logical root of all the rest is that 
of the inherent sinfulness of man. It is obviously 
impossible to build a united fellowship among peo- 
ple whose basic assumption is that they are them- 
selves incapable of a sincere and vital fellowship of 
love. If they are taught that every impulse toward 
good will and hearty cooperation is bound to be 
vitiated by pride or love of power they become in- 
fected by self-distrust and fear of failure. Especially 
are they incapable of trusting their fellows to have 
pure motives and high purposes. They see the trail of 
the serpent over everything and despair of genuine 
goodness and of the possibility of real progress. So 
deep-seated is pessimism in this neo-orthodoxy that 
even the operation of supernatural divine Grace con- 
not be trusted to make a saint out of a sinner. For it 
is a theme constantly reiterated that the greater a 


man's assurance of conversion the greater his liabil- 
ity to the deadly pride which threatens to ruin him 
after all. 

Neo-Orthodox Mythology 

Theologians of this type are the victims of the 
paradoxes which grow out of their basic assump- 
tions. They do not trust their own scholarship to 
read the scriptures intelligibly and to interpret them 
clearly. They accept the whole Bible as divine revela- 
tion and do not recognize that it is not a book of 
one level. It is for them another expression of self- 
defeating pride to set the Old Testament in its place 
as belonging to an earlier stage of human develop- 
ment, and to accept the New Testament as the better 
guide for Chistians because it contains the words of 
Christ and the higher standards of a later and more 
spiritual religion. For the same reason they hesitate 
to apply intelligent discrimination to the contents 
of the scriptures, and in order to avoid following 
through with a reasonable interpretation they resort 
to the use of the concept of "mythology" to cover 
their confusion. But when they regard as myths the 
Virgin Birth, Atonement, Resurrection and Immor- 
tality, in order to affirm, in a fashion, those doc- 
trines they thereby surrender what they wished to 
make secure. Accepting creeds with "mental reser- 
vations" is not really an acceptance of them but an 
evasion. No amount of emotional assertion of that 
kind meets the issue, and plain-spoken, honest people 
are not slow to discern this fact. The effect on many 
minds is to relegate the whole subject of religion to 
the realm of mythology. 

Neo-Orthodoxy Versus Science 

Neo-orthodoxy weakens its claims on intelligent 
people also by its attitude toward the sciences. These 
have achieved so much for the common good and for 
the very ends which Christian people cherish, as 
illustrated by modern medicine, that science is not 


felt by the average man to be an enemy of religion. 
If religious leaders persist in opposing science to 
religion they lessen the appeal of religion and not of 
science. The great tides of education, and the dra- 
matic, widespread benefits of a better understanding 
of the secrets of nature, sweep on victoriously be- 
yond the traditionalism and authoritarianism of a 
relatively sterile past. Humanitarianism becomes 
daily a more vivid and reasonable end of both re- 
ligion and science, that is, of life itself. The fear 
that it may lessen interest in the supreme values is a 
strange and wholly unjustified fear. Humanitarian- 
ism leads to more adequate conceptions of both man 
and God. It was at the heart of the teaching of 
Jesus and increasingly captures the imagination and 
purposes of churches. To blame the evils of the 
world upon science is like blaming them on intelli- 
gence and that ultimately is a reflection on the God 
whom we should bless for the intelligence men have. 
Men are entrusted with many powerful instruments 
and are given responsibility for their use. These 
instruments serve good or evil ends according to the 
application made of them and they have no moral 
quality in themselves. This is sufficient answer to 
those who attribute war to the development of mod- 
ern science. Wars devastated the earth before the 
modern era and the causes of those wars are to be 
sought in many conditions, some of which (economic 
and racial, for example) are conceivably subject to 
reduction and elimination. Such tasks need the 
alliance of constructive spiritual religion and of the 
most powerful ingenuity of natural ajid social 

Education in Disciple Colleges 

Education is another field in which the Disciples 
of Christ have an exceptional opportunity today to 
make a real contribution by following the unique 
beginning of a hundred years ago when they 


founded Bethany College. In that institution the 
whole curriculum was rdigiously integrated. Reli- 
gion was not set apart as a separate department. It 
was not left to a special teacher for undergraduates, 
nor put into a graduate Seminary or Bible College. 
All students had lectures on the Bible and other 
religious subjects, and Chapel services were for all. 
But still more indicative of the thorough integration 
was the fact that all courses were held to be of re- 
ligious significance. The sciences dealt with the 
processes of nature and thus showed the ways of 
God in the creation and maintenance of the world. 
The languages furnished the means of understanding 
the Bible and the other great religious literatures of 
mankind. The study of history presented the rdi- 
gious and moral experience of the race. The fine arts 
cultivated appreciation of beauty and taught the 
techniques for producing it. Every student had op- 
portunity in this way to see and feel the unity of 
all forms of culture and thereby to know the relation 
of religious values to all aspects of learning. Grad- 
uates of the Colleges were thus prepared to take 
their part in the churches both in the pulpit and the 
pew. Many served in both. No special training sep- 
arated candidates for the ministry into a distinct 
class. Many Disciple ministers of that period had 
no further training, and in numerous cases found 
themselves equipped to attain distinguished success. 
The training of ministers differed from that of other 
students only by what is now known as "majoring" 
in rdigious courses and frequently by the experience 
of preaching in neighboring churches. 

Evolution of Bible Colleges 

The majority of Disciple colleges followed es- 
sentially the same pattern for many years. In the 
last decade of the nineteenth century there were be- 
ginnings of "Bible Colleges" which added a year or 
two of post-graduate work for ministerial students. 


These Bible Colleges soon aspired to provide a three 
year course to meet the growing tendency of Disci- 
ple students for the ministry to go to the seminaries 
of the great universities. With this development the 
pervasive influence of religious instruction in the 
colleges of liberal arts declined and religion became 
the speciaJlty of the Bible College. In some institu- 
tions the separation became quite complete. This 
separation was furthered by the growth of college 
attendance from the general public without refer- 
ence to denominational affiliation. In several in- 
stances the college was scarcely any longer a Disci- 
ples school except in terms of its history, adminis- 
tration, and appeals for financial support. Often the 
appeals for funds met more substantial response 
from the community, especially where the colleges 
were located in larger cities. The non-denomina- 
tional status of the college of liberal arts was em- 
phasized in recruiting its students, while the Dis- 
ciple connection was stressed in appeals to the 
churches for ministerial students and for support of 
the Bible College. This is proving to be unwhole- 
some and selfdefeating. Vigorous and vital religion 
lives in the full stream of intellectual and social in- 
terests. Reconstruction of college and ministerial 
education to this end is needed. 

A Needed Experiment 

In this day of educational experiments, the Disci- 
ples have an alluring opportunity to develop in their 
institutions a better integrated system in which 
their non-denominational form of Christianity might 
be made pervasive throughout the whole curriculum 
without raising partisan issues or giving offence. 
Christianity, as the Disciples teach it when they fol- 
low the spirit of it rather than the letter, emphasizes 
no particular dogma, but makes love the sole bond of 
religious fellowship. This is the supreme need in all 
social relationships, in the family, in the state, and 


a world society. Educators, statesmen, and philos- 
ophers agree in this. They call it good-will, the 
spirit of cooperation, the supreme value. It is the 
heart of religion and of morality. Without recogni- 
tion of this quality in the whole of life education be- 
comes "academic" and leaves both teachers and stu- 
dents without a sense of direction and without com- 
manding "ends" of life. It is tragic to witness vast 
numbers of educated, cultivated, refined people, 
equipped with abundant "means" but with no inspir- 
ing, satisfying "ends" to serve and fulfill. 

Ministerial Education 

This unifying and inspiring conception of the in- 
tellectual and religious life should be continued into 
the graduate, professional training of the ministry. 
The education of ministers should be an extension 
and intensified development of the college course in 
reference to their field of work. That is precisely the 
case with other professional education. The physi- 
cian is given graduate courses which stem from his 
college courses in biology, physiology, anatomy, 
chemistry. The lawyer goes on with specialization in 
certain social sciences. The teacher carries on work 
in psychology, history, and genetics. No radical 
break occurs between college and the professional 
school. It is only partially so with the minister. He 
is inducted into a theological school. The name im- 
plies, and the neo-orthodox theologians make it ex- 
plicit, that the intellectual processes and methods 
employed in science and philosophy in college are 
inadequate to deal with the problems of religion. 
Philosophy invdves the use of native intelligence, 
and the cultivation of natural ability in reflecting 
upon the facts and the problems of experience as 
given in personal, and sociaJl development. Theology 
depends upon revelation. Faith as a peculiar "facul- 
ty" or "intuition" is set over against knowledge and 
normal experience. Religious problems, therefore, 


cannot be dealt with by psychology and by the social 
sciences. "Science" is regarded as alien and inept 
where "spiritual" matters are involved. In much 
usage of the term, theology suggests the presence 
of an element as irrational as do the terms astrology 
and alchemy. In the nature of the case these are not 
subject to reasonable, scientific, or philosophical 

The Disciples of Christ have had strong reasons 
for discarding theology from the training of their 
ministers. They have lived in an atmosphere of com- 
mon sense and practical enterprise. For them, reli- 
gious values have also been other kinds of values — 
social, scientific, practical. They have not regarded 
their ministers as an order of "clergy", with special 
endowments or "calls" but rather as men deeply 
interested and motivated to help bring the healing 
and saving gospel of Christ to aimless, suffering men 
and women. 

The new President of the Campbell Institute al- 
ready challenges us all to more active participation 
by planning for the next Convention meetings. We 
must all be thinking, too, of the approaching fiftieth 
anniversary of the Institute which comes in 1946. 
How can we make it a really significant celebration 
to emphasize and promote the three great purposes 
specified in our constitution — Fellowship, Scholar- 
ship, and Cutivation of the Religious Life? 


Christ: A Word or the Word? 

Jack Finnegan, Ames, Iowa 

With the editor's kind permission, I should like to 
carry further a discussion with Dr. Myron Hopper 
which began in a session of the Campbell Institute 
last August. In general, the question at issue con- 
cerned the symbolic and the historic character of 
Christ, and I should say at the outset that it is my 
contention that apart from the historical reality of 
Jesus Christ the symbolical use of his name is nei- 
ther understandable nor valid. 

It was stated by Dr. Hopper, if I remember 
rightly, that modern religious education takes its 
clues as to method from the findings of the most 
recent psychology and educational philosophy. As 
to content, the materials of religious education are 
the highest ideals of humanity, which are known in 
contemporary life. Concerning the methods em- 
ployed in present-day religious education. Dr. Hop- 
per declared that the question of their correspon- 
dence with any methods used by Jesus was entirely 
irrelevant. It does not matter in the slightest whe- 
ther we teach in the way in which he taught. Logical- 
ly then, a second declaration should follow to the 
effect that in similar fashion it is of no importance 
whether what we teach has any recognizable rela- 
tionship to what he taught. If religious education 
introduces growing persons into a meaningful ex- 
perience of contemporary values and ideals, it has 
performed its proper function. 

So far, so good. This would be a straightforward 
and logical presentation and to be recognized as 
such although one did not agree with it. But Dr. 
Hopper identified these highest ideals of mankind 
with "Christ," and described the forgoing as a 


process of "Christian" education. The question which 
I asked at this point concerned what justification 
could be given for calling the sum total of man's 
highest ideals by the name of "Christ." 

Dr. Hopper's reply I remember very clearly, for it 
is what caused me to attempt to write this present 
statement. He said that "Christ" is "just a word" 
for our highest ideals as "chair" is a word for some- 
thing to sit on. 

Now if that is true, why should the word "Christ" 
be chosen? Why not "Buddha" or "integrating pro- 
cess" or "abblanatanalba" ? The answer is that 
"Christ" is not an arbitrary vocable like Gnostic 
gibberish, nor an abstract formula such as is found 
in philosophical jargon, nor a name at once inter- 
changeable with that of some other great religious 
leader. Nor is "Christ" synonymous with every set of 
human ideals, perhaps not even with those which 
we ourselves now cherish most dearly, for does he 
not approve us less often than he disturbs and re- 
bukes us? 

Certainly I believe that the name of Christ is 
symbolic of humanity's highest ideals, but that fact 
is not an accidental one. Rather, Jesus Christ is a 
concrete, identifiable fact in human history, and 
Christian ideals constitute a tangible continuity de- 
finable in terms of his purposes projected through 
the centuries and remaining a perpetual ultimate for 
human endeavor. If this is true, then Christ is not 
just a word, but as that early Christian philosopher 
whose writings are known under the name of John 
was the first to assert, he is "the word." 


"The Past's Incalculable Hoard" 

Herbert L. Willett, Oak Crest Hotel, Evanston, III. 

It is one of the surprising reflections of students 
of history that one who has lived to the alloted time 
suggested by the psalmist as the utmost stretch of 
human life — threescore years and ten — has wit- 
nessed the invention or discovery of most of the de- 
vices which are deemed essential to the comfort and 
even the requirements of human life. It is an aston- 
ishing list which is spread before the mind of one 
who attempts to recall what the modern age has 
produced in the way of things without which it 
would be difficult to conceive of an ordered or ef- 
ficient career. Most of the utilities in daily use, the 
great contrivances, devices and projects without 
which no day's work could be accomplished, are the 
products of the modern age. 

It is difficult to project one's thought back into 
the periods when the customary mechanisms of the 
current time were not in use. Yet most of the 
means employed in obtaining food, transportation, 
light, heat, information and the thousand other es- 
sentials of satisfactory existence are the creation of 
a period to which our fathers were making hesitant 
and uncertain approaches in the days before yes- 

Yet most of the world's history belongs in that 
earlier age, and it is the historian or the archaeolo- 
gist to whom the modem man must go to gain any 
adequate idea of the long eras that lie behind the 
modern time. Of the two vocations that of the arch- 
aeologist is the more arduous, as it involves not only 
the research into documents and archives but jour- 
neys into remote regions and dangerous districts 
where the hazards that menace the archaeologist and 
the explorer are daily adventures. 

Of this group the late Dr. James Henry Breasted 


of the Oriental department of the University of 
Chicago was the most noted representative of our 
generation. He was an Illinois boy, whose first 
academic experience was gained in a small denomi- 
national school at Naperville. Later through the 
influence of Professor S. I. Curtiss of the Chicago 
Theological Seminary he went to Yale and came into 
the department of Dr. W. R. Harper, who at the 
time was formulating the plans for the University 
in Chicago. He discovered in young Breasted the 
promise of a speciMist in the field of Egyptology, in 
which area there was no important scholar on this 
side of the Atlantic. 

At the end of that year at Yale Dr. Harper re- 
signed his work at that institution and sailed with 
his family for a year of travel and investigation of 
educational activities in Europe, taking Breasted 
with him. For several months thej'^ made their 
home in Berlin, where Professor Erman, the noted 
Egyptologist was one of the leading savants in the 
University of that city. There Breasted remained 
for three years as the favorite pupil of the great 
Orientalist, making several trips to Egypt in the 
meantime, and finally taking his doctorate with the 
highest honors. 

In the meantime Dr. Harper had given him the 
position of Professor of Egyptology in the Univer- 
sity of Chicago, where after the death of the first 
president of the institution he succeeded to the 
headship of the department of Oriental Languages 
and Literatures. Here he developed the Oriental 
Institute with its notable museum of antiquites, to 
which materials of rare historical and archaeological 
value were brought from the dozen expeditions and 
research centers sent out to oriental lands. In 
these "houses", such as the ones at Megiddo, Per- 
sepolis, Luxor and Baghdad, staffs of students and 
specialists in the work of investigation, copying and 
translating ancient records were housed and trained, 


and their scholarly results became the growing 
treasures of the library of the Oriental Institute, 
now under the direction of Dr. John A. Wilson, Dr. 
Breasted's successor. 

The story of this dramatic career has been put in 
biographical form by Dr. Breasted's son*, and con- 
stitutes one of the most fascinating volumes of 
travel, hardship, pioneering and scholarly research 
to be found in any library. Dr. Breasted was a man 
of most attractive personality. His class-rooms 
were crowded with eager and enthusiastic students. 
His literary style both in his many volumes and in 
his lectures was most engaging. His interest, how- 
ever, lay in his writing rather than in his popular 
lectures, and he used to say that if he did not have 
to earn money for his oriental prospects, far beyond 
his salary from the University, he would never ac- 
cept an engagement. That would have meant a ser- 
ious education^ loss to the many communities to 
which he traveled and spoke on the great historical 
and archaeological themes that were to him of such 
absorbing interest. 

Early in his career with Dr. Erman he projected 
the plan of making a complete transcription of the 
Egyptian records found on temples and monuments, 
and this immense and laborious project he was able 
to complete and publish in the many volumes which 
came successively from the press. He journeyed up 
and down the Nile, and into many other regions of 
the oriental world, sometimes alone, and at other 
times with one or more of his students and col- 
leagues. His researches included not alone the his- 
torical records of Egypt but embraced a prehistoric 
survey of the Nile Valley, the architectural and cul- 
tural remains of Palestine, Persia, Anatolia and 
other ancient lands. He published a volume on the 
art of the early Byzantine empire, and one on the 

♦Pioneer to the Past. The Story of James Henry Breasted, Archaeo- 
logist, Told by His Son, Charles Breasted. Charles Scribner's Sons, $3.50. 


medical science of ancient Egypt. His latest volume, 
"The Dawn of Conscience", threw a flood of light on 
the indebtedness of the Hebrew prophets to their 
Egyptian predecessors. 

The author of this book has made admirable use 
of the voluminous journals and letters left by Dr. 
Breasted, and has produced a work which is not 
only a most interesting contribution to recent litera- 
ture, but as well a fine interpretation of the en- 
thusiasm, the untiring devotion to a great task, and 
the innumerable perplexities and disappointments 
which blocked the progress of his great design, and 
at times threatened to render all his efforts futile. 
It is the chronicle of a scholarly, courageous and 
honored life, one that like that of Dr. Harper, his 
teacher, inspirer and friend, the world could ill af- 
ford to lose. 

'Tou Have to Believe'^ 

Chaplain Robert L. Schock, Camp Beals, Marysville, 

It's just true, that's all, you have to believe. If 
you cannot believe the stars cease to shine, the sky 
ceases to be blue, the joy of laughter is lost in the 
infinity of the spaces of the universe and beauty is 
no more. You have to believe, that's all! 

The cave man thrust his shaggy head out of his 
cavern home and looked out over his domain of a 
hostile world. Nature so vast and mysterious it was 
beyond his comprehension. All life was edged with 
tooth and claw apparently for his own personal des- 
truction and their personal protection. He looked at 
his own clawless and puny hands, and slowly rub- 
bed his fangless jaw as he saw a sabre-toothed tiger 
proudly pass by in the jungle. Looking back into 
the cave at his mate and children a grim smile 
spread across his countenance, and grasping his 


great club and stone-tipped spear he stepped out to 
stalk the mammoth sabre-toothed tiger. Out-weigh- 
ed he was ; out-armored he was ; terrifically physic- 
ally handicapped he was ; but bravely and fearlessly 
he went out to hunt. He only believed ! Believed he 
could kill the sabre-tooth, believed the world could 
be overcome. Believed he could provide for his mate. 
Believed he could protect his home. Perhaps he knew 
nothing about God, but he believed. 

What were eight-inch bloody fangs, a fore-arm 
that could crush the head of a giant-pre-historic 
bear in one stroke, against his own belief in himself 
and his purpose in life. 

Hundreds of miles of desert stretched out before 
the hand-shaded eyes of another man. Barren and 
desolate was the land. He looked back at the cara- 
van following him; his wagons, oxen, sheep and 
cattle, his family, wife, sons and daughters. Their 
shoulders were bowed with fatigue, their eyes swol- 
len from the wind-blown sand, and heat, their feet 
dragged in the sand. He saw the misery, torture 
and fear in their eyes. He saw the sorrow and pain 
in the eyes of his flocks as they panted for breath 
and life. It seemed impossible to breathe or life 
to exist. It seemed impossible for them to continue 
without great privation, toil and pain. Their lives 
were in his hands. His was the burden of their sac- 
rifice, for they believed in him, and he, he believed ! 
He stretched forth his arms to them, they glanced 
up and their shoulders straightened, their eyes be- 
gan to shine, their laggard feet picked up as they 
looked at his confident face while he pointed out the 
way across the trackless desert. Abraham believed ! 

What were the odds, the discomforts, the shadow 
of death in the face of such belief? They existed 
not. He believed he could find the promised land. 
He believed he could protect his family and home. 
He believed in his God. 

Neither did Moses draw back from the vision of 


the suffering, pain, death and bloodshed that would 
follow him through forty years of wilderness wan- 
dering ! For Moses believed ! In his belief the God 
of all ruled and no cost was too high in order to be 
true to that belief. 

Jesus looked down from his extended height upon 
the cross and spoke words of compassion to those 
who suffered for his pain and coming death. But 
what was his pain and what was his death, com- 
pared to the greater thing, the belief that he had, 
which some day would free mankind? Some-one 
must labor, some-one must suffer, some-one must 
die and be willing to die, if he bdieved. For all 
beauty, all hopes, all love, all values disappear along 
with God when there is no belief to live for and to 
sacrifice a life for in its behalf. 

The young American stood before his draft board. 
It told him that he must spend the next few months 
or years in the Armed Forces of the United States to 
prepare himself for its defense. He neither shrug- 
ged his shoulders, murmured or broke into speech. 
But he rebelled in his heart for his country, the 
hours of his labor and the change in his manner of 
living. His country gave him a gun and taught him 
to shoot. They placed a bayonet upon the end of the 
gun arid taught him to use it on sand bags. His 
stomach turned sick at the thought and he resented 
the waste of his energy. Why should it not be so? 
He was raised that way ! 

A Republican form of Government meant nothing 
to him. He had no time for that sort of thing. He 
believed not in God, a Republican form of Govern- 
ment, country or self. Beauty and love and justice 
were just things for his own selfish purpose and 
desire. He lived but did not believe. His soul was 


bitter, his life was warped, he floundered around in 
the detours of existence. 

Another young man likewise appeared before his 
draft board. He too, had the same experiences. He 
practised on the sand-bags with a bayonet. His 
stomach rebelled. But he put his strength into it and 
his will also. He knew it was wrong to kill his fel- 
low men, but he believed that if it was necessary 
to overcome evil in that way, the evil would be over- 

He believed in a Republican form of Government, 
he believed in God, he believed in beauty and love 
and justice, for himself and his fellow men. His 
belief said. If I can lay down my life, if need be, for 
something worthwhile for my fellow men I will 
gladly do so, and he will. He Believed ! 

I do not believe in war. I do not believe in blood- 
shed as the proper manner in which to settle the dis- 
putes of mankind. I do believe in God, and all that 
he means to human life thru his Son Jesus the 
Christ. I believe in beauty and love, brotherhood 
and justice, liberty and domestic tranquility. I be- 
lieve in the American way of life. That does not 
mean that I am satisfied with it. It means that I 
believe in it and I want my wife and children to live 
in that way of life, and their children's children. 

I too, can look back and see that if our leaders 
had done this or had done that at the end of the first 
world war, this could have been averted. I too can 
see the waste and suffering of war. I, too, can shud- 
der at the horror of it. I, too, can find fault with 
my Government. I am not satisfied. But I believe 
in it. But when the sabre-toothed tiger stalls me in 
my very own cavern, I must take up my knotted 
club, and stone-tipped spear, meet him on his own 
ground and on his own terms and battle him to the 


death to protect what I love and cherish and believe 

When we fail to right wrongs in their infancy, we 
must pay the price of allowing the wrong to grow 
to maturity and then fight it on its own grounds and 
on its own terms. It is too late to talk about peace, 
and arbitration and conferences when the mature 
sabre-toothed tiger is breathing fire and bloodshed 
at the threshold of our door. 

The sabre-tooth in this case is my fellow men. 
They were allowed to grow to maturity without my 
ever knowing them or they given a chance to know 
me. They were allowed to grow in their own way 
and according to their own desires. It made no dif- 
ference to my parents as long as they did not bother 
me. Now it is too late. The mischief has been done. 
They now believe in that which I cannot believe. 
They have become sabre-toothed tigers on my door- 
step. They have become the destroyers of my own 

My belief says, first try all possible means other 
than war. It was so! (Too late, tho.) Then I must 
prepare to meet force with force on its own terms 
and grounds. Only upon those terms can I retain my 
belief in anything. God, Country, self, beauty, love, 
justice, brotherhood. 

I have been asked what instructions I can give to 
the young Christian in the military service to make 
it easy, or at least to compromise with his belief, so 
that the effect of so-called bayonet practice on sand- 
bags etc., will not wrap his soul. 

I would not make it easy for him. I would have 
him well aware every moment of its horror and its 
purpose. I would have him visualize the feel of the 
impact of human flesh and the struggling body upon 
the cold steel of the bayonet. The crunching of the 
bones should be ever before him. I would not ever 
make it easy for him or help him to acquire a love 


or desire for it. The harder the better. I would 
have him leave the practice line with the firm re- 
solve that his children will never know the reality 
and chill of it. I would have him realize that his 
life was too little to offer in order to crush a world 
of such a styg'ian nightmare of horrors. I would 
never, never, never try to make bayonet practice, 
target practice, tank driving or any part of military 
service, anything other than what it is. 

But I would have him believe. Believe that if the 
time comes, he is protecting a way of life that is 
worth protecting. That out of this horror, pain and 
death there shall blossom a new world of beauty, 
love, brotherhood and domestic tranquility upon a 
world wide basis. Anything less than that and we 
fail our own belief. Anything less than that and 
there is nothing, nothing, nothing at all. 

Thus let us be honest with ourselves. The horror 
of war and its consequences are not the young man's 
in the service of his country. They are ours who 
have guided our nation for the last generation and 
those of us who will guide it for the coming genera- 
tions. He uses the gun, we furnished it, we caused 
it, we fed the sabre-tooth until he was too large 
for us to handle. Ours is the guilt not theirs. 

Theirs is faith, the hope and the belief. That is 
what gives them the courage to correct our faults. 
Therefore to the young man entering the service, 
first let us build up his belief in God. Second, let us 
sustain his belief in God. Third, let us see to it that 
when he returns we have been faithful to that belief 
and laid the foundations for the kind of world in 
which he believes. IF WE DO THAT WE NEED 


Concerning the Church 

George Walker Buckner, Jr., Editor of World Call, 
has just published a book of 128 pages through the 
Bethany Press on, Concerns of a World Church. 
Thus another member of the Campbell Institute 
proves loyal to the constitutional ideals of this or- 
ganization which seeks to promote "fellowship, 
scholarship, and the religious life." It is a fresh, 
vigorous, fine spirited commentary on various 
phases of church interests in relation to the world 
in which we live. The book reflects the observa- 
tions of a traveled, thoughtful and responsible 
Christian mind. Union, race, education, freedom, 
missions, war, labor, and the changing social order, 
are among the subjects discussed and always with 
clarity, insight, and reasonable optimism. Human 
welfare is a greater concern with the author than 
theology. "Our great, common goods, our most 
treasured possessions, are ours only as we see them 
in relation to the life of humanity — this principle 
is particularly valid as it applies to the possession 
of the Christian faith itself." There is a chastened 
optimism throughout, which is well expressed at 
many points. For example, "We must not permit 
our knowledge of that which is ignoble in our world 
to blind us to its glory." The book is a good illustra- 
tion of the temper and outlook of the Disciple mind 
emancipated and enriched in a full stream of living 
experience in the actual present world. Character- 
istically, it does not recite the secrets of the divine 
mind and then assume to assert full knowledge of 
those secrets in reference to war and peace. It is a 
modest and helpful book! 


Alexander Campbell On ''Sin 


W. B. B. 

There is a great tendency in our day to elevate 
"sin" as the central concept and concern of Chris- 
tians. This trend, coming out of a distressed 
Europe, voiced by neo-orthodoxy, has already had 
a profound influence on present-day religion. It has 
become more "serious;" it has adopted a motif of 
"repentance" and talks a great deal about "the mor- 
al law." Alexander Campbell had little patience 
with any great emphasis on "sin." The following 
lines from The Christian Baptist of June 9, 1930, 
are worth reprinting today. 

" 'Their sins and their iniquities I will remember 
no more,' stands forth to view as the constitutional 
privilege of all Christians. An act of oblivion on 
the past, and a promise that sin shall not lord it 
over them in the future, are the pledges which in 
baptism are given to all who come to Jesus. I could 
wish that this excellency of the New Institution was 
hdld up to the eye of this generation as was the 
serpent to the eyes of Israel in the wilderness. It 
is not known — I say, comparatively it is a secret 
to this age. The confessions and prayers for par- 
don echoing every Lord's day from ten thousand pul- 
pits on this continent; the mournful and long de- 
tails of past sins offered up with every morning and 
evening sacrifice upon the family altars of the wor- 
shipping families, more resemble a Jewish sacrifice 
or sin offering than the incense of purified hearts 
warmed and cheered with the forgiving love of God. 
'The worshippers once cleansed should have no con- 
sciousness of sin.' But in their prayers and con- 
fessions there is a remembrance of past sins every 
morning and every Lord's Day. This is proof posi- 
tive, flowing from the hearts and lips of professors, 
that they are either ignorant of, or unbelieving in, 


the Christian Institution. They fed not the blessed- 
ness of the man to whom God imputes not sin. If 
they do, their lips utter the words of deceit and 
guile. They profess to feel and to desire that which 
they neither feel nor desire." 

Newsy Ideas 

Alexander Campbell said: "The first and chief 
peculiarity of Bethany College is its constituting 
Sacred History, or the Truths of the Bible, — Patri- 
archal, Jewish, and Christian, a fundamental and all 
pervading element of college education. For this 
reason lectures of an entirely original character, so 
far as college lectures are established and ordained 
by universal usage, are daily delivered in this insti- 
tution. The Baconian system of observation, com- 
parison, and deduction is, in these lectures, with 
logical severity applied to the facts and events, is 
first considered, argued and illustrated. They are 
then classified in the form of dispensations." 

Please notice that the forty-first volume of the 
SCROLL began last month. That means that the 
SCROLL is older than many of its readers! It also 
shows that it covers more than a third of the history 
of the whole period of Disciple history. There are 
only two or three periodicals in this brotherhood of 
longer continuous publication. 

Write for the Scroll lively, short articles. Pay your 
dues of two dollars for the year beginning with 
September, 1943. Encourage ministers and laymen 
to join. Cheer up the Treasurer with poetry and 

Frank N. Gardner has published a very signifi- 
cant article in the College of the Bible Quarterly for 
July, 1943, on Reconstruction in Christian Thought. 

He proves that he is likely to make more contri- 


butions to solving the great problems concerning 
God and religion. 

Why do we doctrinally emancipated Disciples still 
use the word "theology?" Have we thought latdy of 
the good reason our founding fathers had for dis- 
carding it? Does it not belong with an age which 
believed in astrology and alchemy ? Theology implies 
supernatural revelation. Philosophy of religion is 
the proper word for us and for today. 

The Commission on Budgets and Promotional Re- 
lationships voted to ask the Brotherhood to give 
the askings of our colleges the right-of-way in 1943- 
44. They also asked that the churches establish their 
giving to the colleges on a systematic yearly basis. 
This year all colleges, even those in Unified Pro- 
motion, are to have their gifts on an over and above 

All Institute men should cooperate with the Board 
of Higher Education in the "Campaign of Ideas" 
about to be launched. We have had so many cam- 
paigns for money it will be interesting to have one 
for ideas. If well done nothing could be more signifi- 
cant. It was a body of new and fertile ideas that 
made Disciples history. They need emphasis today. 

Ye Editor had a good time at the San Jose Con- 
vention in California last July. He gave three ad- 
dresses, the second of which was printed in the last 
Scroll, the third in this number. Comments will 
appear in the next issue. 

Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. De Groot 
"What! No poetry! No literary snack! No 
threats! Nothing but a straight-out dun? I'm get- 
ting gyped! But, I'll be fiscal." So replies Louis 
0. Mink of Youngstown, 0., to our prosaic report 
of the August meeting, plus gentle hint that dues are 


But, if the muse has abdicated in this vicinity, it 
is like "The Man Who Came to Dinner" in another 
quarter: Charles R. Wakeley, Chicago, lilteth: 

The post card came 

Which bears your name. 

Some news notes and a hint 

Of dues delayed 

Which long unpaid 

Might halt the printer's print. 

A Jubilee! 

Oh, Mercy me ! 

Oh, golly, and Oh, my! 

Does it not seem a fairy dream? 

Have fifty years gone by? 

Well, anyhow. 

Why should we bow 

To life's amazing flittance? 

Let's strike our beam, 

Reclaim our dream, 

And post our tardy pittance. 

Chaplain Paul Rains, at the New Orleans staging 
area, writes that he wishes he could send $25 for a 
life membership. So do we. 

Is this functionary the only member of the Insti- 
tute who has a copy of Progress, 20th Anniversary 
volume, autographed by all of the living contribu- 
tors to it? The last to inscribe his name therein 
was Dr. Errett Gates. Among other things in his 
gracious letter he says, "I am glad to see evidences 
of the spread of the cause and principles for which 
the Campbell Institute was organized. I was one 
of the very few original members. I was in my 
twenties then, and am now in my seventies. . . . I 
envy you the opportunity you have in your work." 


J. Barbee Robertson, Witchita, Kansas, inquires, **Is 
it legal for a Campbell Instituter to have 202 new 
members in a year and pay $21,300 on a church 
debt and have the church become a Living Link — 
all in the same year?" 
I ask you, Is it? 


Unified Promotion at 222 Downey Avenue, Indian- 
apolis, is circulating an interesting pamphlet en- 
titled, Things. On page 15 there are important figures 
about Disciple churches and their per capita giving. 
In the United States there are 1,424,000 members. 
These are classified in five groups as follows : 

Group I represents local churches with less than 
125 members each. There are 4096 of these 
churches, or 57% of the total number of 7170. The 
individuals (352,000) in these seven thousand 
churches average giving 44 cents a year to all mis- 
sionary work. 

Group II. Churches with from 126-250 members, 
a total of 1625 churches or 2d%. Per capita gifts 
(for 261,000) to missions 91 cents. 

Group III. Churches with from 251-400 members, 
a total of 666 or 9% . Per capita gifts (for 212,000) 
one dollar and 22 cents. 

Group IV. Churches with from 401-700 members, 
a total of 496 or 7%. Per capita gifts (for 258,000) 
one dollar and 54 cents. 

Group V. Churches with over 700 members, a 
total of 314 or 4%. Per capita gifts (for 341,000) 
to missions two dollars and 52 cents. 



Thomas Curtis Clark 

God of the open, of dawning and starlight, 

Of the sea's blue, the sun's gold, the cloud's varied 

pageant ; 
God of mountains and forests and rich, waving 

grasses ; 
Of April's fresh beauty and autumn's deep crooning ; 
Of the snow blast, the night wind, 
The tempest, life-laden; 
God of light, God of grandeur, 
We adore Thee. 

God of the spirit of man, you gave me, 
Warring against the shackles of darkness ; 
God of strength, of freedom, of hope everlasting; 
God of history, of science, of music symphonic ; 
God of all Christ-souls of all ages and peoples. 
Fulfilling the past, transcending the present, 
Insurgent, exulting, with eyes to the eastward; 
God of truth, God of progress, 
We extol Thee. 

God of our hearts. Father of mercy, 
Pitying, loving, craving affection; 
God sacrificial. Calvary-proven; 
Sun of all life, star of all peoples. 
Warming, enlightening, cheering and luring; 
God of humanity, God of compassion. 
Father of Christ who died for our saving, 
We love Thee. 


I, — . 

[; Vol. XLI. DECEMBER, 1943 No. 4 


h What Should We Do Now? 

E. S. Ames 
; I After a survey of our past, what do we find indi- 
cated for the future? The Editor of the Christian- 
Evangelist says in the issue of November 17 : "Some- 
thing has happened. Have we lost confidence in our- 
selves and in our plea"? Have we left the track of 
unity? If so, what are the open switches which 
have derailed us? Have we given up the adventure 
of Christian unity to defend a blueprint?" Others 
have said that we have "slowed down" in our his- 
toric momentum, that our growth is arrested, that 
our drive has weakened. Such observations as these 
stimulate inquiry. One effect is to restudy the past 
and to seek better understanding of the present. 

In the studies lately presented in these pages some 
suggestions are clear to the writer, at least. One is 
that the Disciples should carry forward their his- 
toric endeavor to understand still better the teach- 
ings of the New Testament. It is uniquely the book 
for Christians to know. The Old Testament is of 
secondary importance and should be seen in its right- 
ful place. Have we adequately followed the great 
developments of New Testament scholarship in 
recent years? One of the most important results 
is emphasis upon the spirit of it as against the 
"blueprint" idea. 

Another consequence is the interpretation of the 
life and teachings of Jesus. Here the fruitful tend- 
ency has been to see him in relation to his own 
society and times. This has released the conception 
of his personality from the old framework of literal 
prophecy and miracle and the Hebrew ceremonial 
sacrificial system. He stands out in the bright light 


of new ideas and of new and greater meaning for 
men of today. His influence grows as the old myths 
and superstitions are discarded. As a consequence 
there are new conceptions of "salvation" and for- 
giveness of sin, and of his significance for the 
knowledge of God, 

A third important result is a better evaluation of 
man. The old notion of the depravity of human 
nature dies hard. It made an easy answer to the 
tragedy of life. It explained quickly why we have 
so much trouble in economics, in international rela- 
tions, in education, in marriage, in race relations. A 
fairer assessment of mankind increases the sense of 
social responsibility and the hope of improvement in 
many directions. It gives greater meaning to 
missionary work, to all forms of church work, and to 
the importance of church affiliation and cooperation. 

An important corollary of respect for man is new 
appreciation of his intelligence and the part it may 
play in curing all ills. This leads to new interest in 
all the sciences and their value as religious means to 
religious ends. The neglect of the wonders of scien- 
tific method and achievement, particularly on the 
part of ministers and religious people, is unpardon- 
able in this day. If ministers would read, A Treasury 
of Science, it would open their eyes and give them 
many blessed illustrations for their sermons! 

All this has its vital bearing on the problem of 
union. No concept which is so familiar needs more 
to be studied anew in the light of all the points just 
enumerated and also in the light of recent studies of 
social psychology and the amazing intricacies of 
human nature. People are not primarily intellectual. 
They do not seek first of all for doctrinal correct- 
ness. They are swayed by family associations, 
styles, prestige, tastes, prejudices, and numberless 
motivations. The only way to get them to live and 
work together is to inspire them with great loyalties 


to Christlike ideals and to practical tasks. Only the 
will to belong and to further the great Cause is 
essential. As Professor Garnett says in the Chris- 
tian-Evangelist of November 3, "This principle of 
universal love contains all the law and the prophets. 
There is no place or need for any farther revelation 
of God's will." 

The Disciples of Christ and the War 
Between the States 

C. H. Hamlin, Wilson, N. C. 

During the period 1844-1861, many organizations 
in the United States divided owing to the bitter con- 
troversies of that period. The secession of the South, 
with the formation of the Southern Confederacy, 
was in accord with the trends of that period. The 
Democratic party divided in 1860, nominating two 
candidates, Breckenridge of Kentucky and Douglas 
of Illinois, for the presidency. The nation itself 
divided in 1861 following the election of Abraham 
Lincoln to the presidency in 1860. This spirit of 
division affected the churches as well as the political 
organizations. Organized religion divided by be- 
coming identified exclusively with controversial 
movements of the day. 

The Baptists divided in 1844. The Methodist 
Church divided in the next year, reuniting in 1939. 
The Methodist Church, South, in 1861 declared 
"African slavery is a wise and righteous institution 
approved of God," while the Northern branch 
appropriated $400,000 for missionary work in the 
South. ^ The Presbyterian Church divided in 1861, 
with the organization of the Presbyterian Church of 
i:he Confederate states at Augusta, Georgia. This 
organization became the Presbyterian Church in the 
United States in 1864 uniting with the United Synod 

1. R. LeRoy Logan, "Disciples of Christ and Slavery," 
B. D. Thesis, Butler University, 1935, P. 23. 


of the South, formed in 1857. The Presbyterian 
Church of the Confederate States regarding the Civil 
War declared, "The struggle is not alone for civil 
rights and property and home, but for religion, for 
the Church, and the Gospel. "^ The Protestant 
Episcopal Church of the South seceded from the 
General Conference of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church forming in 1861 the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the Confederate States. 

This session was never recognized by the General 
Conference of the Protestant Episcopal Church, as 
they called the roll of those from the South during i 
the conflict when none were present to answer. In 
1865 the Episcopal delegates from the South began 
attending the General Conference of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church again. The Free Will Baptists 
divided over the issues of the day, but the Northern 
branch later united with the Baptist, leaving the 
main body of Free Will Baptists in the South (prin- 
cipally in North Carolina). The Christian Church 
(O'Kellyites, often known as the Christian Connec- 
tion) divided in 1854 reuniting in 1910. The Con- 
gregationalists did not divide as they had few mem- 
bers in the South. 

Why did Disciples of Christ not divide? What 
were their positions relative to the conflict? 

Location of The Disciples of Christ 

The Disciples of Christ did not divide although 
they had a membership almost equal in both the free 
and the slave states.^ The Disciples of Christ came 
into being in the first quarter of the nineteenth cen- 
tury for the expressed purpose of uniting all Chris- 
tians by rejecting all creeds and by having only a 
minimum of essential beliefs with personal freedom 
in matters of opinion. In 1855 the Disciples of Christ 
numbered 225,000 members with the majority living 

2. Ibid P. 27 

3. W. E. Garrison, Religion Follows the Frontier, P. 175. 


in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana and 
Illinois.* About 5,000 members were in the Caro- 
linas, Georgia, and Alabama. Only a few were in the 
New England states or in the Lower South. 

In 1860 the Disciples had 2,068 Churches dis- 
tributed as follows : Alabama 22, Arkansas 33, Con- 
necticut 4, Georgia 15, Illinois 148, Indiana 347, 
Iowa 51, Kansas 6, Kentucky 304, Louisiana 3, 
Maine 26, Maryland 2, Massachusettes 28, Michigan 
13, Minnesota 3, Mississippi 24, Missouri 150, Ne- 
braska 2, New Hampshire 33, New Jersey 10, New 
York 142, North Carolina 32, Ohio 365, Oregon 6, 
Pennsylvania 69, Rhode Island 9, South Carolina 6, 
Tennessee 106, Texas 53, Vermont 11, Virginia 73, 
Wisconsin 8. Of these 2,068 churches, 827 were in 
slave states and 1,241 were in free states. The total 
membership was about 300,000. The Disciples were 
not numerically strong in the section of the large 
cotton plantations where pro-slavery sentiment was 
strongest. Neither v/ere they strong in the New 
England States where the abolition sentiment was 
strongest. Before 1830, the abolition movement was 
national in scope. After that date the movement 
gravitated to New England." In 1860, the South 
was pro-slavery, the Northeast was abolitionist, 
while the West was pro-Union and anti-slavery. 

The Disciples of Christ and Slavery 

Alexander Campbell was strongly anti-slavery but 
he was not an abolitionist. He held "slavery to be a 
matter of opinion." His slaves were given religious 
training and taught to read. He freed those under 
his power as soon as they seemed able to care for 
themselves. He advocated the purchase and emanci- 
pation of all slaves.' When Alexander Campbell or- 

4. Logan, P. 35. 

5. A. T. DeGroot, The Power of A Slogan. 

6. G. H. Barnes, The Anti-Slavery Impulse, gives an 
excellent account. 

7. Great Britian abolished slavery by purchase in 1833. 


ganized Bethany College at Bethany, Virginia, (now 
West Virginia), in 1840, the student body and 
financial support came principally from the South. 
Upholding unity at any cost, he prohibited all dis- 
cussion as to slavery and abolition at the college. 
Campbell said: "the political press and legislative 
halls are the proper theaters for such combats." 
Largely on account of that policy, Northwestern 
Christian University (changed to Butler University 
in 1877 in honor of its founder Ovid Butler) was 
chartered in 1847 at Indianapolis, Indiana. Butler 
accused Campbell of being influenced by the South. 
Five students left Bethany College for Butler Uni- 
versity on account of Campbell's prohibition of dis- 
cussion of the slavery issue. In musing over the 
divisions of the churches, regarding slavery, Camp- 
bell said: *'We are the only religious cohimunion 
in the civilized world whose principles can preserve 
us from such an unfortunate predicament." 

Barton W. Stone freed his slaves, but he did not 
condemn slaveholders. For forty years he served 
Churches with members who were slaveholders. 
J. W. McGarvey, D. S. Burnet, Moses E. Lard, Rob- 
ert Milligan, and Benjamin Franklin never dis- 
cussed slavery or political questions. Isaac Errett, 
an active opponent of slavery, opposed division of 
the church over the slavery issue. At one time 
nearly every member of the famous Cane Ridge 
Church in Kentucky was a slave owner but by 1861 
only a few members owned slaves. 

The only Disciple to publish an abolitionist jour- 
nal was John Boggs of Cincinnati, Ohio. He pub- 
lished the Northwestern Christian Magazine at 
Cincinnati from 1854 to 1857. Through his maga- 
zine he attacked church leaders who were not avowed 
abolitionists. In October, 1857, he wrote the follow- 
ing ridicule of Thomas M. Harris, a pioneer Disciple 
minister of Georgia: 


A correspondent in the September number 
of the Millennial Harbinger writing under the 
caption "A good work in Georgia," after men- 
tioning the conversion of a Mr. T. M. Harris, a 
Protestant Methodist preacher, states as fol- 
lows: "Brother Harris is the son of a wealthy- 
planter, himself a wealthy planter, and the son- 
in-law of a very influential planter." In plain 
English, this new convert to our ranks is a large 
slaveholder, himself a large slaveholder, and 
son-in-law of a very large slaveholder ! 

The Disciple leaders successfully opposed allowing 
opinions as to slavery entering into or influencing 
the organized work of the church. The organized 
mission work of the Disciples began in 1849 with 
the organization of the American Christian Mission- 
ary Society. Dr. J. T. Barclay, a slave owner of 
Virginia, was sent as a missionary to Jerusalem in 
1850, and J. 0. Beardslee, an abolitionist, was sent 
to Jamaica. In reply to criticism of the American 
Christian Missionary Society for sending Dr. J. T. 
Barclay, a slave owner, as a missionary, Isaac Errett, 
the corresponding secretary, wrote: 

I am an anti-slavery man. This is known to 
brethren, east, west, north, and south. But I 
am not an extremist. All my intimate anti- 
slavery friends know that I never was the friend 
of church secession doctrines, that I have al- 
ways insisted that slave holding was not a suf- 
ficient reason for disturbing church fellow- 
ship . . . 

We send no man out to preach slavery nor 
Doctor Barclay had inherited the four slaves he 

The second effort among the Disciples in the 
foreign mission field was the sending of Alexander 
Coss to Liberia. He was slave of Kentucky, bought, 


freed, educated, and sent to Liberia to evangalize. 
There he later died of fever. 

In 1858 the American Christian Missionary So- 
ciety planned to give aid to Pardee Butler as a 
missionary evangelist for the territory of Kansas. 
He was an active abolitionist. The Society, before 
giving him aid, stated to him : "It must, therefore, 
be distinctly understood that if we embark in mis- 
sionary enterprise in Kansas, the question of slavery 
or anti-slavery must be ignored." Pardee Butler re- 
fused the offer of help under those conditions. As a 
result a petition of 600 signatures was secured for 
the promotion of an anti-slavery Missionary So- 
ciety. This society was formed in Indianapolis, In- 
diana, in November, 1858, for the purpose of sup- 
porting Pardee Butler. But with the outbreak of the 
Civil War, this organization expired, as the reason 
for its existence ceased to be. A convention was 
called in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 2, 1855, be- 
cause "Certain followers of the Reverend Alexander 
Campbell have become dissatisfied with his teaching 
on slavery." Only twelve men and one woman were 
present so -this movement came to naught. The Dis- 
ciples weathered the storm of controversy regarding 
slavery without dividing. 

Reaction of the Leaders Among the Disciples as to the Civil 
War A — Pacifists 

When Lincoln was elected president in 1860, war 
was precipitated in 1861 by the secession of the 
Southern states. The reaction of the leaders among 
the Disciples to this conflict may be classified as 
pacifist, as Unionist, or as Confederate, in sympathy 
and support. The reaction of the Disciple member- 
ship in general was similar to that of the community 
in which the local church was located — usually 
identifying the wars of its state with the will of God. 

8. North Carolina ChHstian, September, 1942, P. 2. 

9. Ibid. 


A larg-e number of the Disciple leaders refused t® 
support either side in the conflict. Campbell took 
that position. 

Alexander Campbell came to America from Ire- 
land in 1809. He died in 1866. During his life in 
America, the United States was engaged in three 
wars — the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the 
Civil War — in addition to the Indian wars of the 
frontier. There is no mention of the War of 1812 
in any of his writing. During the most active period 
of his life the Mexican War was fought. This con- 
flict was brought on by the expansionists of the 
South and the West with President Polk precipitat- 
ing the "incident."^" 

The most complete record we have of Campbell's 
ideas on war were those given in an address de- 
livered at Wheeling, Virginia, (now West Virginia) , 
in 1848 on the subject of war.^^ This was given at 
the close of the conflict and in the midst of national 
rejoicing over our acquistion of the southwest ter- 
ritory from Mexico. 

In this address, among other remarks, Campbell 

But if anyone desires to place in contrast the 
gospel of Christ and the genius of war, let him 
suppose the chaplain of an army addressing the 
soldiers on the eve of a great battle, on perform- 
ing faithfully their duty, from such passages 
as the following: "Love your enemies; bless 
them that curse you ; do good to them that hate 
you, and pray for them that despitefully use 
you and persecute you ; — if thine enemy hun- 
ger, feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink ;" — 
Would anyone suppose he had selected a suit- 
able text for the occasion ? How would the com- 
mander-in-chief have listened to him? 

10. James Ford Rhodes, History of the United States, Vol. 
1, P. 87. 

11. A. Campbell, Popular Lectures and Addresses, Chap. 


But to the common mind, as it seems to me, 
the most convincing argument against a Chris- 
tian becoming a soldier may be drawn from the 
fact that he fights against an innocent person, 
I say an innocent person so far as the cause of 
the war is contemplated. The men that fight are 
not the men that make the war. Politicians 
merchants, knaves, princes cause or make the 
war, declare the war, and hire men to kill for 
them those that may be hired on the other side 
to thwart their schemes of personal and family 
aggrandizement. The soldiers on either side 
have no enemity against the soldier on the other 
side, because with them they have no quarrel . . . 
Not only are prayers offered up by pensioned 
chaplains on both sides of the field, — as if 
God could hear them both, and make each 
triumphant over the other, guiding and com- 
missioning the swords and bullets to the heads 
and hearts of their respective enemies. Camp- 
bell in this address called the soldier "the pro- 
fessional and licensed butcher of mankind." 
Although never active in partisan politics, Camp- 
bell was a Whig. In 1840, during the presidential 
campaign, he predicted the conflict between the 
Whigs and the Democrats would develop into a con- 
flict between the North and the South over slavery. 
He said, "This institution the South will never sur- 
render without bloodshed."^- When the Civil War 
began, he was in his declining years. However, he 
expressed his idea in an editorial in the June, 1861, 
issue of the Millennial Harbinger under the title, 
"Wars and Rumors of Wars." In this he said in 

Civilized America! Civilized United States! 
Boasting of a humane and Christian fraternity 

12, R. Richardson, Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 
11, P. 597. 


and paternity, unsheathing" your swords, dis- 
charging- your cannon, boasting of your heathen 
brutality, ghittonously saturating your furious 
appetites for fraternal blood, caps the climax 
of all human inconsistencies inscribed on the 
blurred and moth-eaten pages of time in all its 
records. ^3 
There is no record of any remarks from Campbell 
regarding our conflicts with the Indians. However, 
while on a tour of the West about 1850, he adopted 
an Indian boy with the consent of his parents from 
the Iowa tribe, supporting him as a member of the 
Campbell family. The boy remained with Campbell 
about eight years, and latter returned to Nebraska 
to get his share of land apportioned his tribe. Camp- 
bell did the same with a Mexican lad. 

When the conflict began in April, 1861, a group of 
fourteen Disciple ministers in Missouri issued the 
following statement in part appearing in the Sep- 
tember, 1861 issue of The Christian Pioneer, pub- 
lished by John R. Howard at Lindley, Missouri; 

1. We cannot justify by the New Testament our 
participation in this fratricidal strife. 

2. It is our duty to remain a united body. 

3. History and experience teach us that war 
almost invariably destroys the religious char- 
acter of Christians. 

4. If we remain true to this line of duty we shall 
be able greatly to glorify the nam.e of our Lord 
who is the Prince of Peace. 

5. Let us for Jesus' sake endeavor in this appro- 
priate hour to restore that love and peace 
which he inculcated; which was practiced by 
the great body of the church for the first three 
hundred years, on our utter refusal to do mili- 
tary service. 

6. We entreat the brethren everywhere to study 
exclusively the things which make for peace. 

13. Millennial Harbinger, June 1861, P. 344-348. 


This was signed by B. H. Smith, Samuel Johnson, 
E. U. Rice, J. D. Dawson, J. Atkinson, J. M. Cox, 
J. J. Everest, H. H. Haley, T. P. Haley, J. W. McGar- 
vey, T. M. Allen, R. C. Morton, J. K. Rogers, and 
Levi VanCamp.i* 

When Fort Sumter was attacked on April 13, 
1861, and President Lincoln called for 75,000 volun- 
teers on April 15, John W. McGarvey issued the 
following statement: 

I know not what course other preachers are 
going to pursue, for they have not spoken. But 
my own duty is now clear, and my policy is 
fixed. I shall vote, when called upon, according 
to my views of political policy, and whether I 
remain a citizen of this Union, or become a citi- 
zen of a Southern Confederacy, my feelings to- 
ward my brethren everywhere shall know no 
change. In the meantime, if the demon of war 
is let loose in the land, I shall proclaim to my 
brethren the peaceable commandments of my 
Savior, and strain every nerve to prevent them 
from joining any sort of military company, or 
making any warlike preparations and especially 
with political and military leaders; and there 
are some who might style it treason. But I 
would rather, ten thousand times, be killed for 
refusing to fight, than to fall in battle, or to 
come home victorious with the blood of my 
brethren on my hands. ^^ 
In commenting editorially on this letter, Benjamin 
Franklin, a Disciple pioneer wrote: 

We cannot always tell what we will or will 
not do. There is one thing, however things may 
turn, or whatever may come, that we will not 
do, and that is we will not take up arms against, 
fight and kill the brethren we have labored 

14. H. 0. Pritchard, "Militant Pacifists, "World Call, 
March, 1936. 

15. Ibid. 


for twenty years to bring into the Kingdom of 
God. Property may be destroyed and safety 
may be endangered or life lost, but we are under 
Christ, and we will not kill or encourage others 
to kill or fight the brethren. ^^ 
THE CHRISTIAN PIONEER of June, 1861, in an 

editorial on the "Duty of Christians At the Present 

Crisis" gave the following advice : 

... But there is something about which we 
can speak, and of which we concieve it to be 
our duty to speak; and that is of the duty of 
Christians, of the Disciples of Christ, at the 
present crisis. We shall not attempt to decide 
whether it is right or wrong for Christians to 
bear arms, in defense of what they may con- 
ceive to be right, whatever that may be. We 
leave that between themselves and their God, 
. . . But one thing we can say, and which has 
always been our sentiment on the subject, and 
that is, that a Christian can not volunteer, as 
it is termed, to bear arms. If he does so at all, 
let it be by compulsion, the compulsion of the 
country, or of *'the powers that be," ... It 
should not be voluntary, but involuntary, on his 
The editor asked the question, "Shall Christians 

Go To War?" and answered it saying in part: 

Suppose, then, that the twelve were all alive 
today, and here in our country, six of them in 
the South and six in the North, would they, like 
the hosts of sectarian preachers on both sides, 
be urging on their brethren to the war? How 
degrading is the thought! 

War sermons abound in the pulpits of the 
denominations North and South; with us it is 
different. I have not yet heard of any war 
preachers among us. There may be, but their 

16. Ibid. 

17. The Christian Pioneer, June, 1861, P. 16. 


number must be small. In this, it is true, we 
are liable to censure. ^^ 
In this issue he also gave "A Few Words of Im- 
portant Council to Christians" saying: 

Brethren at the North and at the South what 
say you? Shall we be able, when this war is 
over, to meet each other in council again, and 
be able to say that not one Christian has en- 
listed in the armies, or fallen in the field, by the 
consent of any one of us?^^ 
In an editorial entitled, "War — Not a Christian 
Work", John R. Howard wrote in The Christian 
Pioneer : 

Dr. Eliot, editor of the Central Christian Ad- 
vocate, St. Louis, Mo. in a discourse on "Loyalty 
and Religion", published recently, in the 
Missouri Rephlican, of that city says in it : "War 
is not a Christian work." Never was there a 
truer statement uttered.-^' 
The position of Benjamin Franklin, a leading 
editor among the Disciples of the Ohio-Indiana re- 
gion from 1845-1878, was equally as strong in his 
refusal to support the war.-^ In 1861 he wrote "We 
will not take up arms against, fight and kill the 
brethren we have labored twenty years to bring into 
the Kingdom of God."-^ 
Moses E. Lard wrote: 

What is war? That science by which men 
are trained in the most successful manner to 
manufacture widows and orphans by the whole- 
sale — to scatter misery in every form and shape 
broadcast over the field of humanity.-^ 
Dr. J. P. Robinson of Bedford, Ohio, wrote, "But 

18. Ibid Au^st, 1861, P. 128. 

19. Ihid P. 141. 

20. Ibid P. 225. 

21. Joseph Franklin and J. A. Headington, Life and Times 
of Benjamin Franklin, P. 109. 

22. Ibid, P. 287. 

23. Lard's Quarterly, April 1867, P. 139. 


how a Christian man . . . can say . . . give me a gun 
or a sword and let me cut Bro. Pendleton's throat 
and Bro. Campbell's just because of geographical 
lines. . . ." 

Other leaders who gave no support to the armed 
conflict were D. S. Burnet; John Tomline Walsh; 
Cyrus McNeely of Hopedale, Ohio, who with others 
went to Canada to avoid arrest for treason; and 
Robert Milligan, who became President of Kentucky 
University (Transylvania) in 1859. He kept the 
institution open during the entire conflict — the 
only institution of higher learning in Kentucky to 
remain so. 

According to one study: 

There can be no doubt as to the position taken 
by the leaders of the Disciples in regard to the 
Civil War and war in general. They opposed 
it, almost to a man.^^ 

This pacifist position was among the leaders only, 
it was not among the rank and file of the members. 
The Disciples of Germany, known as the Churches 
of Christ in Germany, aflniliated with the Disciples 
of Christ in the World Convention of Churches of 
Christ, require pacifism as a part of their credo.^^ 


With few exceptions the Disciple leaders were 
opposed to secession. Walter Scott died in 1861, but 
he expressed his views earlier by stating that he 
advocated a United rather than a Disunited States.^® 
Dr. L, L. Pinkerton, physician, teacher, preacher, 
and Disciple leader in Kentucky was opposed to 
secession. Public opinion forced him to resign in 
1866 from the faculty of Kentucky University (Now 
Transylvania) at Lexington, Kentucky, on account 

24. Glen W. Mell, "A Study of the Opinions of Some Lead- 
ing Disciples Concerning Pacifism" B. D. Thesis, Butler Uni- 
versity, 1936, P. 53-54. 

25. A. T. DeGroot, The Power of a Slogan. 

26. William Baxter, Life of Walter Scott, P. 431. 


of the opposition of Confederates^^ although his 
oldest son joined the Confederate army. Pinkerton 
then worked for a while with the Freedman's 
Bureau. Daniel R. Lucas (1841-1907) was probably 
the youngest chaplain in the Civil War. He was a 
Disciple minister from Indiana and afterwards he 
took an active part in the Grand Army of the Re- 
public, an organization of the Union Soldiers after 
the Civil War. Ryland T. Brown and Daniel R. Van 
Buskirk were also Disciple ministers who were ac- 
tive Union supporters in Indiana. In Illinois, Archi- 
bald T. Benson was chaplain of the 127th Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry. He also carried a gun and 
made **war" speeches. William M. Brown was chap- 
lain in the 38th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. D. P. 
Henderson was an active Unionist. 

Dr. William A. Mallory, employed by the Illinois 
State Missionary Society, resigned in 1882 to ac- 
cept a commission from the Governor of Illinois as a 
recruiting agent. He later became a chaplain in the 
Union Army. 

Five of the seven young men of the senior class of 
Eureka College (Disciple) in 1861 volunteered in 
response to Lincoln's first call for troops. Francis 
M. Bruner served for one year as Captain of Com- 
pany A Seventh United States Colored Infantry. 
Other Illinois ministers who saw active military 
service were John H. Coats, John J. Cosat, Daniel 
H. Darling, Robert Moffatt, Allison Hawl, James E. 
Jewett, H. G. VanDervoost, W. M. Weedon, and 
Isaac Stout. Mathew Wilson was a loyalist refugee 
to Illinois from Tennessee. Charles Yelton served in 
the Mexican War and became chaplain in the 143rd 
Illinois Infantry in the Civil War. 

Colonel Edward D. Baker (1811-1861), identified 
with the Disciples in his early life, did a great deal 
to aid the Union cause on the Pacific Coast. He was 

27. John Shackelford, Jr. Life, Letters, and Addresses of 
Dr. L. L. Pinkerton gives a good account. 


elected to Congress from Illinois and later served in 
the Mexican War as a Colonel. In 1852 he moved 
to California and later to Oregon, where he was sent 
to the U, S. Senate in 1861. With the outbreak of 
the Civil War he raised a company of 1600 men and 
was killed in Virginia on October 21, 1861. 

In Ohio, John Kirk v/as a staunch supporter of 
the Union; also J. W. Errett, the brother of Isaac 
Errett, served as a major in the Union Army. J. H. 
Jones of Ohio stated "As I understand it now, I will 
die before Jeff Davis and Company shall destroy 
this country — this government." H. S. Bosworth 
regarding the war, stated "I regard it as inevitable, 
the quickest, best and only road to an adjustment of 
the difficulties." James E. Gaston said : "I hope the 
matter will not stop until secession is completely 
crushed out and the leaders hung." 

Isaac Errett, founder of the Christian Standard in 
1886, resigned as secretary of the American Chris- 
tian Missionary Society in 1860. He moved from 
Cincinnati to Bethany, Virginia, where he aided in 
editing the Millennial Harbinger. In 1862 he moved 
to Detroit, Michigan, there he applied to Governor 
Blair for a commission in the army. His application 
was refused as that part of the state had its pro- 
portion of commissioned officers. Isaac Errett was 
an active Unionist and urged others to join the 
Union forces but he opposed letting the question 
divide the church.-^ At one time 250 students of 
Hiram College, Ohio, served in the Union Army. 
James A. Garfield, in early life a Disciple minister 
and president of Hiram College before becoming 
President of the United States, served as an officer 
in the Union Army. 

W. T. Moore, pastor of the Christian Church of 
Frankfort, Kentucky, was a major factor in holding 
Kentucky in the Union. In 1861 while the Kentucky 
legislature was considering the question of secession, 

28. J. S. Lamar, Memoir of Isaac Errett. 


four of the five members holding the balance of 
power and undecided as to secession were members 
of his Church. He preached on "The Duty of Chris- 
tians in the Present Crisis" opposing secession. The 
vote was taken the following week and Kentucky re- 
mained loyal to the Union. ^^ 

Rev. J. W. Vawter wrote Prison Life in Dixie, 
giving a story of inhuman treatment of Union sol- 
diers by Confederate authorities. He was in Ander- 
sonville prison in Georgia. 

William Baxter of Arkansas was a staunch Union 
supporter among the Disciples. He came from Eng- 
land in 1828 and in 1847 he went South, later be- 
coming president of Arkansas College of Fayette- 
ville, Arkansas. This position he held until the in- 
stitution was burned by Confederate troops in 1862 
because they looked upon it as a Union stronghold. 
In 1864, William Baxter wrote Pea Ridge and 
Prairie Grove giving many incidents of the war in 
Arkansas. He was bitter in his denunciation of the 


Some Disciple leaders were supporters of the Con- 
federacy. The most important of these were Dr. 
W. H. Hopson, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Hall, Thomas 
W. Caskey, Jacob Creath, Jr., and Robert Catlett 

Dr. W. H. Hopson was born in Kentucky in 1823. 
His father came from Virginia. At the opening of 
hostilities in 1861, Dr. Hopson was preaching in 
Lexington, Kentucky. He resigned his pastorate and 
recommended as his successor J. W. McGarvey of 
Missouri. Hopson urged the churches to preserve 
their harmony but for the nation he advocated 
peacable separation with the idea of reuniting when 
conditions returned to normal. There was a meet- 
ing held by the citizens of Louisville, Kentucky, on 

29. Logan, P. 12. 


April 18, 1861, and the following statement was is- 

Resolved, that the present duty of Kentucky 
is to maintain her present independent position, 
taking sides, not with the seceding states, but 
with the Union against them both, declaring 
our soil to be sacred from the hostile tread of 
either, and, if necessary, to make the declaration 
good with her own right arm.^^ 
Hopson considered that the right course for Ken- 
tucky. After the outbreak of hostilities, he became 
a Confederate chaplain in the army of General John 
Morgan of Kentucky. He was arrested by the Fed- 
eral troops but later released and again served as 
chaplain with the rank of Colonel with General Mor- 
gan of the Confederate forces of Kentucky and also 
with General Wade Hampton of South Carolina. 
After the close of hostilities he aided in establishing 
a school for Negroes in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Hall was born in Kentucky 
in 1803. He began preaching in 1823, evangelizing 
mainly in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, North Caro- 
lina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, 
and Texas. He died in Texas in 1873.^1 When the 
Civil War began. Hall became a supporter of the 
South and became a confederatee chaplain in a regi- 
ment of troops commanded by Barton Warren Stone, 
Jr. — the son of Barton W. Stone, the great pioneer 
Disciple preacher. These troops fought around 
Fayetteville, Arkansas. According to the Unionist, 
William Baxter, whose school had been destroyed, 
Hall "rode a fine mule, carried a splendid rifle and 
stipulatedly expressed that when there was any 
chance of killing Yankees he must be allowed the 
privilege of bagging as many as possible."^- Accord- 
ing to William Baxter, Dr. Hall also contended that 

30. Mrs. E. L. Hopson, Memoirs of Dr. W. H. Hopson, P. 

31. North Carolina Christian, June 1937. 

32. William Baxter, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, P. 114. 


true religion was found only in the South. Hall also 
urged the invasion of Kansas and the killing of the 
wounded if there was any chance of their joining 
the Union forces again. After the conflict, Dr. 
Benjamin Franklin Hall went to Texas and there 
spent the remainder of his life. 

Thomas W. Caskey was born in Tennessee in 1816. 
Most of his life was spent in preaching in Tennessee, 
Mississippi, Kentucky, and Texas. He was a man 
of little training but of great ability. Caskey was 
in Mississippi when Lincoln was elected. He advo- 
cated secession. When the conflict began he was 
appointed chaplain of the Mississippi Regiment of 
Volunteers and soon became known as "The Fighting 
Parson." Later he was director of hospital work 
for Mississippi. In 1863 he advocated freeing the 
slaves, arming and putting them in the army. In his 
- later life he saw the folly of it all. But according 
to his writings he v/as mad at the close of hostilities 
at the "Yankee Nation" and at every w^ord that be- 
gan, ended, or had in the middle the letter "y".33 
He died in Texas in 1885. 

Jacob Creath, Jr. was also sympathetic with the 
South. The ten men at Palmyra, Missouri, sent for 
Jacob Creath, Jr. for a last interview when they 
were to be executed by the Federal authorities dur- 
ing the Civil War in retaliation for the death of 
Andrew Allsman, a Unionist who was put to death 
by Porter, a Confederate official, -^^ This execution 
is known as the Palymra massacre. 

Robert Catlett Cave, a Disciple minister of Con- 
federate sympathies, never became reconciled to the 
Union. In 1911 he wrote The Men in Gray, pub- 
lished by The Confederate Veteran of Nashville, 

33. Chaplain G. G. Mullins U. S. A., ed., Caskey's Book 
gives an account of this interesting charactei'. 

34. Peter Donan, ed. Memoirs of Jacob Creath. 


Convention Resolutions Regarding the Civil War 

As the Disciples were weak in organization with 
no central authority, they could give no expression 
as an organized group to official positions regarding 
the Civil War. At the annual meeting of the Ameri- 
can Christian Missionary Society at Cincinnati on 
October 24, 1861, Dr. J. P. Robinson of Ohio offered 
the following resolution : 

Resolved, that we deeply sympathize with the 
loyal and patriotic forces of our country in their 
present efforts to sustain the government of the 
United States, and we feel it our duty as Chris- 
tians to ask our brethren everywhere to do all 
in their power to sustain the proper and consti- 
tutional authorities of the Union. 
Isaac Errett was presiding and declared the reso- 
lution in order, but the Convention voted the reso- 
lution out of order as it was not germane to the 
meeting. 3 » However, the Convention took a ten 
minute recess and adopted the statement as the senti- 
ment of the mass meeting. There was one dissent- 
ing vote. 

As the war progressed, however, sentiment began 
to change. At the annual meeting of the American 
Christian Missionary Society on October 22, 1863, 
in Cincinnati, with Isaac Errett presiding again, 
the following resolution was offered and adopted 
with few dissenting votes : 

Whereas, "there is no power but of God," 
and "the powers that be are ordained of God," 
and whereas, we are commanded in the Holy 
Scriptures to be subject to the powers that be 
and "obey magistrates" ; and whereas, an armed 
rebellion exists in our country, subversive of 
these divine injunctions; and whereas, reports 
have gone abroad that we, as a religious body, 
and particularly as a missionary society are to 

35. W. T. Moore, Comprehensive History of the Disciples 
of Christ, P. 492. 


a certain degree disloyal to the g"overnment of 
the United States ; therefore ; 

Resolved, that we unqualifiedly declare our 
allegiance to said government, and repudiate as 
false and slanderous any statements to the con- 

Resolved, that we tender our sympathies to 
our brave and noble soldiers in the field who 
are defending us from the attempts of armed 
traitors to overthrow our government, and also 
to those bereaved and rendered desolate by the 
ravages of war. 

Resolved, that v/e will earnestly and con- 
stantly pray to God to give our legislators and 
rulers wisdom to enact and power to execute 
such lav/s as will speedily bring to us the enjoy- 
ment of a peace that God will deign to bless.^^ 
No delegates were from the South and the annual 
conventions met in Cincinnati, Ohio, during this 
period. The Ohio Christian Missionary Society meet- 
ing at Shelley, Ohio, during the conflict pledged the 
Union its "unqualified loyalty." 


There were several determining factors that en- 
abled the Disciples of Christ to encounter the seces- 
sion and Civil War controversies without dividing. 

First, the purpose of the Disciples of Christ, their 
plea, and their very reason for existence was a plea 
for UNITY. The leaders of the Disciples at that 
time of the Civil War were still under the strong in- 
fluence of that original passion of the movement, 
and desired to uphold UNITY at all costs. 

Second, a major factor was the geographical loca- 
tion of the Disciples of Christ. Even though there 
were Disciples in both the Confederate and Union 
States, yet, there were a very few members in the 
New England States, where extreme abolition was 

36. J. H. Garrison, The Reformation of the Nineteenth 
Century, P. 177-178. 


so pronounced, or in the lower South, where the de- 
sire for secession was so strongly felt. Generally 
speaking, the Disciples of Christ were located in the 
border states, and were comparatively free from the 
extreme attitudes of New England or the Lower 
South relative to slavery and secession. 

Third, the pacifist element among the leaders of 
the Disciples of Christ v/as a major influence in pre- 
serving unity. The majority of the outstanding lea- 
ders of the Church at that time — including Camp- 
bell himself, were pacifists and rejected warfare en- 
tirely. That position on their part had the tendency 
to keep low the "patriotic temperature" of the Dis- 
ciples of Christ. 

The fourth factor that held together the Disciples 
of Christ was their looseness of organization. Each 
church was its own authority. There was no way 
for an overhead authority to antagonize or to at- 
tempt to force the churches to act and think in one 
way regarding the controversy of that day. Thus, 
the weakness in organizational structure became a 
strength in preserving unity. 

Sam Freeman Trades Pulpits with 
George Aki 

Those who read critical Journals are well aware of 
the implications to democracy of that enforced mass 
movement of 70,000 persons of Japanese descent 
from the Pacific coast — this without charge or 
trial for any crime. All who know the exceptional 
job done by the army express high admiration for 
it. Some of us have been most apprehensive of this 
action against a minority group which could with 
sufficient spreading feverish reaction extend to 
many other groups until freedom for the rest of us 
might be held suspect. After careful investigation 
new hope has been taken in the action of the govern- 


ment as it discovers and relocates true American 
citizens in various areas of our country, allowing 
these citizens again to enjoy majority rights. The 
church had a large part in this considered action of 
the government; and it yet has a larger part in 
helping these people to feel at home as free citizens 
with opportunity to make important investments in 
their working and living in this democracy. 

Under the rule of Christianity and a democratic 
form of government all citizens ought to have equal 
opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of hap- 
piness. Most of us in the South know this theory; 
but the practice has given us considerable difficulty 
when confronting the Negro. Added to this was 
more concern in the sending of thousands of citizens 
of Japanese extraction to live with us in Arkansas; 
or more accurately, apart from us in Arkansas. In 
fact our legislators and governor joined in the dis- 
graceful and unconstitutional action of passing a 
law providing that no person of Japanese descent 
could either buy property or work in the state of 
Arkansas; and that they must get out of the state at 
the immediate conclusion of the war. Let it be 
known that all of our legislators did not join in this 
action; but all the opportunists did. Part of the 
church of Arkansas did speak out against this in- 
tended injustice; but not too loudly. 

At this point is where the free local church of the 
Disciples of Christ could use its Christian democratic 
liberty whether another local fellowship joined or 
not. Pulpit and forum groups of the Heights Chris- 
tian Church used this occasion for consideration 
and discussion in the light of the Christian faith. 
Little by little we moved to the point in our thinking 
when the minister was counselled by his official 
family to invite George Aki, gifted minister of the 
Jerome Relocation Federated Christian Church to 
occupy his pulpit. 

Sunday, October 17th George Aki preached in the 


Pulaski Heights Christian Church. Confidentially 
the minister had "spotters" in his congregation who 
were to draw various members out after the wor- 
ship in an attempt to get an objective reaction. 
Reverend Mr. Aki and Mrs. Aki visited in the homes 
of church members over the week-end. Reverend 
Mr. Aki made a statement before a critical group of 
about twenty five young adults, after which they 
plied him with many questions. Now some minis- 
ters have reason to be a bit apprehensive whenever 
they are away from their pulpits concerning the 
attendance of many members. Appearing to hear 
Mr. Aki and to worship with him was one of the 
most sizable congregations of the entire church year. 
Not one of the "spotters" for negative reactions 
was able to report less than high appreciations for 
the excellent sermon of Rev. Mr. Aki on "Adven- 
turous Faith." Our congregation has been greatly 
helped by this Christian venture. Light does dispel 
prejudicial darkness. We are publicizing this action 
to the very limits of our persuasive powers to all 
other churches. 

Sam Freeman was at this same time the guest 
speaker of the Rohwer Federated Christian Church. 
Sam had a "superior speech" on "Faith in the Bom- 
ber" ; but he was not too much at home in the pulpit 
of his interned fellow citizens and brethren of the 
faith. He was most grateful for the opportunity to 
catch the feel of the critical implications and the 
actual life of those in a Relocation Center. One may 
read well, but he needs to live in the Center with the 
people a little while to sense the feeling of their life. 
It helps a fellow of the faith to observe and to learn 
that among the non-instutionalized, the Budhist, and 
the Christian those best able to meet life whether 
interned or venturing into new and strange adjust- 
ments as equal citizens again, Christians make the 
best of it. Dr. J. B. Hunter, head of Community 
Activities in the Rohwer Relocation Center told me 


that those of the Federated Christian Church were 
the most optimistic and venturesome of all groups, 
going out first to new and valuable American citizen- 
ship. Reasonable Christianity is a pragmatic faith. 
Allow me, out of limited experience, to encourage 
all church groups inclined to invite an unrelocated 
minister or leader into their church to speak and to 
worship, to lead forums on the implications of de- 
mocracy and the Christian faith in a world of crisis. 
It can help. The church must lead in the practice of 
Christian fellowship and democracy. 

Science, Religion and the Future 

Herbert Martin, University of Iowa 
* Science, Religion, and the Future. By Charles 
E. Raven, University of Cambridge. 125 pages. New 
York. The Macmillan Co., 1943. 

This volume treats of the quarrel between religion 
and science. Of the eight brief chapters the first 
four give a history of the "appalling catastrophes" 
resulting from the separation of science and religion ; 
while the second four undertake to show how to re- 
trieve the damage. Chapter 1 — The New Philoso- 
phy — stresses the unity of the individual as "artist, 
scientist, and saint," the congruence of "nature and 
grace," "of secular and sacred" and the necessity of 
seeing life steadily and whole. While the data of 
science and religion vary, they must, notwithstand- 
ing the difficulty of objectivity in the study of re- 
ligion, be approached and verified by the same in- 
ductive method of observation and experiment. Such 
method will enrich the spiritual life. 

Chapter II — The age of Transition. The Weltan- 
schauung of the christian churches, Raven realizes, 
is prescientific, practically medieval. Science pur- 
sues its forward way while religion clings to tra- 
dition, "to superstitions that violate intelligence and 
to conduct that shocks the morality of modern men." 


A new world view is essential else wholeness in in- 
dividual or in a people's life remains impossible. The 
concept of a lawless universe created and controlled 
by an arbitrary anthropomorphic God whose ways 
were past finding out, in which magic and miracle 
held sway, must give way to that of a cosmos where- 
in lawful order obtains, where werewolves and 
witches no longer disport themselves ad libitum. 
The author notes that, prior to the eighteenth cen- 
tury, forces had been at work making for amend- 
ment. The unity of science and theology, if ever 
possible, must be achieved by basic, rational pro- 
cedures rather than by ex cathedra proclamation. 

Chapter III — The Conflict — deals with the storm 
over Darwin's Origin of Species. Well-known ground 
is canvassed in detailing the controversy. "Fierce 
criticism" was Darwin's meed from fellow scientists 
who maintained the immutability of species. Soon 
theology entered the arena. Bishop Samuel Wilber- 
force ("Soapy Sam"), son of the great William of 
negro emancipation fame, entered the lists as the 
God-destined defender of orthodoxy. In a crowded 
meeting at Oxford he attacked Darwin and Huxley, 
the latter viciously, asking him whether he "was 
related on his grandfather's or grandmother's side 
to an ape." Under such stimulation Huxley's re- 
sponse was "tremendous." Soapy Sam was undone; 
the new theory triumphed. The impact of Darwin's 
chance variation and natural selection upon the pre- 
vailing teleology is obvious. For Huxley the teleo- 
logical (properly understood) and the mechanical 
views of nature are not, necessarily, mutually 

Chapter IV — Aftermath. Darwin's work resulted 
in an estrangement betvv^een science and religion 
(theology). This gulf was further widened when 
scientific method was applied to Biblical studies. 
This twofold application of scientific method yielded 
panic among orthodox churchmen. Yet science pros- 


pered, each going its own way. It was Darwinismus 
in the laboratory on weekdays and Genesisology in 
the pulpit on Sunday. Strange compromise! The 
regrettable result of this divorce is that the scientist 
specializes in an ever narrowing field and is thereby 
rendered incapable of a synthetic view of experience, 
while the clergyman or religious leader is too often 
utterly innocent of laboratory experience. 

In Chapter V — The New Reformation — the author 
finds data in physics and in the new psychology that 
make possible a rapprochement between science 
and religion. Relativity theory has softened the com- 
plete objectivity of physical data; certainty has been 
displaced by probability. The new psychology in 
relating the mind more organically to the body re- 
duces its traditional subjectivity. These two reduc- 
tions bring body and mind, fact and value, into closer 
intimacy making possible, thinks the author, an ulti- 
mate identity not only of method but of the problems 
confronting students of science and religion. Here 
the author pays his respects to the "paradox-mon- 
gering", based on Hegelian dialectic, of such as Karl 
Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr. Crisis theology is 

Chapter VI — The Intellectual Task. Here the need 
for a viewpoint covering the "whole field of human 
experience" is emphasized. The method must be em- 
pirical and thoroughgoing. So-called miraculous or 
supernatural events must be scientifically studied. 
However, weight and measurement are inadequate 
to explain characteristic human experience such as 
value, meaning, and purpose. On the other hand 
dogmatism is outmoded in an age when new tides of 
knowledge sweep in upon us without cessation. To 
coordinate into a harmony our new insights and 
experiences is an urgent intellectual demand. 

Chapter VII — The Moral Task. In any rational 
assessment of our universe the ethical cannot be 
overlooked. Nature processes cannot be explained 


in terms either of earthquakes and parasites or of 
sunsets and lilies, neither by mechanism nor an un- 
disciplined anthropomorphism. For the author 
evolution is a fact, and struggle too. Nature is law- 
ful and orderly indicating some holistic principle 
or "Organizer." Throughout moral issues emerge 
and develop. "Creation is a continuing process," not 
a once for all event. Science, religion, and morality 
are thus but different evaluations of the same world 
still in the making. 

In Chapter VIII — The Religious Task — the author 
offers his solution of the problems involved. The 
differentia of man is not reason but his "solitari- 
ness" (Whitehead) and "sense of the sacred" 
(Oman). To the primitive man the universe, other 
than himself, was magnetic, evoking awe. It was 
for him "a tremendous and fascinating mystery — 
the source of his and later man's culture values, the 
origin of the God idea. In composing the tragic 
quarrel between religion and science Raven travels 
the mystic way. Since for him "the levels of man's 
physical, cultural, moral and religious life tend to 
rise and fall together" religion becomes "an accurate 
indication and criterion of attainment in other 
fields." Furthermore, the mystic experience of uni- 
son with the divine bears testimony to a reality "in- 
finite and indefinable," transcending space-time cate- 
gories. In this experience his love of God overflows 
to all men and eventuates in action in man's behalf. 
In this extroversion he gains release from self -im- 
prisonment and solitariness, God's will and his are 
one, the sense of the sacred possesses him. Mystic 
experience reveals God as "the source and ground of 
the universe, as the reality and archetype of its 
structure, as the nisus which initiates and impels 
its development." Mysticism is thus the intergrat- 
ing philosophy proposed by the author. 


To the average reader this book will make appeal. 


To the more critical mind the waters are more 
troubled. In his exposition one cannot but recognize 
the author's objectivity, his impartiality. It is only 
when we come to his solution that divergence may 
appear. Exception may well be taken to such state- 
ments as : science and its consequences have sprung 
out of Christendom (121) ; that a legend is generally 
more informative than a laboratory (85) ; that the 
emergence of novelty manifests an urge toward 
some coordinating Organizer (108) ; that the child 
is more interested in final causes than in temporal 
antecedents (85) . This last statement is an over- 
generous attribution to child inquiry of an historic 
theological interest. Final cause is a leap in the 
dark on the part of the theologian, not knowledge. 
With it the scientist is not concerned. By the aid 
of applied psychology science has of late achieved 
conspicuous success in explaining, predicting, and 
even controlling such purposive behavior in terms of 
causal mechanism. At that, however, the scientist 
neither afl[irms nor denies final causes or purposive 
nature as understood by the theologian. Science 
aims to map out and discover the laws of the back- 
ground within which teleological phenomena occur. 
The author's doubt as to the wide prevalence of be- 
havioristic psychology (9, footnote) reveals a lack 
of acquaintance in that matter. 

The statement (92) that scientists believe that 
Darwin disposed of teleology is simply beside the 
fact. Modern science does not deny the phenomena 
of consciousness and purpose. Significant human 
life is marked by purposeful behavior, by goal seek- 
ing. By analogy we attribute purpose to the adapta- 
tions of lower organisms. They behave "as if." Such 
ascription is post facto description. The scientist 
recognizes purpose as an emergent within nature. 
From this it does not follow that Nature, as such, is 
purposeful. Purpose is a category by which we or- 
ganize our experience. Purpose in human interpre- 


tations does not argue same in Nature. A leap to 
the supernatural is neither justified nor required. 
That nature is lawful, experience increasingly testi- 
fies. Law, however, does not reign, is not a cwusal 
agency. Laws are but the discovered regularities 
and sequences within events and expressed in the 
form "if — then." This, too, for the modern philoso- 
pher is the meaning and logical core of mechanism. 
Any solution of the cosmic problem, of the rela- 
tion of science and religion, must be approached by 
the circuitous way of intelligent interpretation of 
experience rather than by launching upon the direct 
emotional super-highway of mysticism. Better 
founded results will be obtained by interpreting re- 
ligion and science as complementary efforts of a 
unitary being toward the discovery of life's mean- 
ing. The author's criticism of the crisis theology, 
of the "paradox-mongering" of Barth, Niebuhr, and 
other followers of Kierkegaard is salutary. 

Financial Secretary's Page 

Since dues are paid with "twos," 

And since I do not choose 

To lose my right as a Campbellite 

I herewith pay this very night. 
That sounds like a late evening effusion, engend- 
ered under the stimulus of a cup of strong coffee. 
Barney Edwards of Bristol, Va., conjured it for our 
unrivaled page! (I've never heard of any claims of 
rivalry) ) . To illustrate this point, I give you the 
brain-child of Charles W. Riggs, Bentonville, Ark- 
ansas : 

Dear Brother DeGroot, 

Enclosed find loot 

To pay my dues to the Institute. 
That brings us very close to the advent of blank 
verse, a heavy threat always hanging over this of- 
fice, the horrendous visage of which has driven more 
than one editor to the aqua wagon. 


Who said there is nothing new under the sun? 
We have entered a Scroll subscription to the "40th 
Naval Construction Battalion, Fleet Post Office, San 
Francisco." Chaplain James A. Alley informs us 
that he is allowed to obtain magazines of interest to 
men of the various religious bodies, and gladly in- 
cluded this mighty literary mite. 

Our cry from Macedonia this month is from New- 
man A. Hall, New Haven, Conn., who insists that 
we should be concerned about providing an Eastern 
session of the Institute. Our growing membership 
may now justify area meetings. There have been 
twenty-three new members and a dozen new sub- 
scribers added since August, and it is now necessary 
to print 850 copies of the Scroll monthly. 

Who can down a Texan? President Max Sadler 
of TCU says, "I have a secretary who could write 
poetry superior to that which you usually receive, 
but since we are in a rushing war emergency we 
are simply sending the $2 without the words." I 
hereby offer a prize of one stick of chewing gum to 
the anonymous lady if she can best the crop pre- 
sented herewith! For example, I give you Harvey 
Redford, fellow Texan of Greenville, — 

You wonder why I am so late; 

The reason is, I regret to state, 

A pigeon hole, which I do hate, 

And strive each day to eliminate. 
Or, in a different mood, I bring you an excerpt 
from a kindly epistle of A. L. Ward, Noblesville, 
Ind., who writes — 


Is a lamp-lighter 

Bathed in gorgeous waves of light 

Walking across the foothills 

Touching them with a glint of gold. 
To which he adds, "I have looked upon the Camp- 
bell Institute Fellows as lamp lighters." 


Vol. XLL JANUARY, 1944 No. 5 

Distinctive and Unifying Traits 

E. S. Ames 
Many fine Disciple ministers and laymen are timid 
and half apologetic in claiming distinctive character- 
istics for the Disciples of Christ for fear of being 
considered narrow and sectarian. This may be owing 
in large part to the fact they so much accept the 
judgment of other people who think the distinguish- 
ing trait of Disciples is insistence upon the dogma 
and practice of baptism by immersion. A great Dis- 
ciple leader once said to me, "If we give up baptism 
what have we left?" The answer is, we have had 
and still have the following fourteen points. Not 
one of them is divisive or exclusive. Every one of 
them invites friendly understanding and coopera- 
tion with enlightened religious neighbors. These 
points are as follows: 

The Fourteen Distinctive Points 

No other large protestant body is distinctly of 
American origin and democratic temper. No other 
was founded and developed in the quest for Christian 
union. The Disciples do not interpret God in either 
trinitarian or unitarian terms but through the per- 
sonality and teaching of the historical Jesus. They 
have no official creed or theology. They believe in the 
dignity of man, not in original sin. They observe the 
Lord's Supper weekly, as a memorial and as a con- 
tinuing fellowship. Their polity is entirely congrega- 
tional. No essential diflference is recognized between 
clergy and laymen. Any member may administer any 
ordinance. Conversion is not dependent upon visions 
or voices but is voluntary turning of mind and heart, 
in faith and penitence, to the way of Jesus Christ. 
The Disciples have always held to an evolution of 
"dispensations" from patriarchal, and Mosaic, to the 


Christian. They regard the New Testament, rather 
than the Old Testament, as the guide and standard 
for Christians. They stress the right of private in- 
terpretation of scripture and individual freedom of 
opinion. Salvation is a process of growth in knowl- 
edge and grace. They encourage an experimental, 
functional attitude in ideas, forms, organizations, 
and cooperation. Certainly this combination of 
points is distinctive. 

These Traits Are Unifying 

On this basis the Disciples are able to practice 
union in their local congregations. They invite all 
who regard themselves as Christians to participate 
in the communion service and in the work of the 
churches. They share with other denominations the 
missionary spirit and enterprise. They promote fed- 
eration, religious education, and great practical, so- 
cial movements. They use religious literature from 
all sources, sing the great hymns of all churches, and 
cherish the devotional books of all faiths. In in- 
creasing numbers their students for the ministry are 
attending great universities without regard to de- 
nominational affiliation. 

True Disciples Are Liberals 

The fourteen points are all in the direction of 
liberal religious thought and practice, and they are 
proof that the Disciples have had the seeds of liber- 
alism in them from the first. If they do not know 
that they are liberals it is because they are not in- 
formed on their own history and have shamefully 
neglected their birthright. If members of other 
churches look upon the Disciples as conservative, 
narrow fundamentalists, the reasons for this are to 
be found largely in the failure of the Disciples them- 
selves to know and to make known the deeper and 
finer qualities of their own inheritance. Too often 
visitors in Disciple churches hear either superficial, 
insistent claims for Disciple superiority as defenders 
of the true faith, or only colorless pleas for getting 



together. Many times the message is concerned only 
with what everybody already believes and approves. 
Frequently the best educated ministers are most 
skillful in avoiding both the narrower and the larger 
interpretation of the Disciple position. Consequent- 
ly there is widespread feeling that "one church is as 
good as another" and that the Disciples have no dis- 
tinctive message that can contribute to a better and 
more appealing interpretation of Christianity than 
can be found in a Calvinist or any other traditional 
type of church. As the Disciples build larger 
churches, provide better music and ritual, the tend- 
ency grows to ignore the great, vital teachings that 
once inspired the Disciples, and thus weaken their 
drive and make them just another pleasantly accept- 
ed and innocuous denomination. It would not be so 
sad to see them become a "disappearing brother- 
hood" if they had already registered their mark on 
the protestant mind. But to have them go out with 
no foot-prints left on the sands of time would seem 
passing strange and pathetic. Their real hope for 
a significant future is to cultivate with zeal the traits 
that make for union and fellowship. There are cer- 
itain dogmatic doctrines in some denominations that 
shut out their adherents from the catholicity the re- 
ligious world needs. One is "apostolic succession," 
another is belief in a "level Bible," another is the 
claim of infallibility for the clergy or the hierarchy, 
another is insistence on mystical conversion. There 
are instances, however, of distinctive characteris- 
tics which make for the enrichment of the religious 
life and are not divisive. For example, the Quakers 
have witnessed a quiet faith and most generous serv- 
ice for suffering and oppressed humanity; Moravi- 
ans have exemplified sacrificial missionary zeal; 
Congregationalists have been leaders in education 
and tolerance ; Methodists have been conspicuous for 
zeal and song. All of these are sharable traits and 
have radiated through all communions. They prove 


that it is possible for groups to distinguish them- 
selves by their ideas and achievements without being 
dogmatic or exclusive in what they believe and prac- 
tice. The Disciples of Christ have been sincere ad- 
vocates of Christian union, and many of their local 
churches have consistently and earnestly practiced it, 
by discarding creedal beliefs and welcoming into fel- 
lowship all who seek to be loyal to the Christian way ' 
of life as they sincerely understand it. It is not un- : 
usual for local congregations to have in their mem- 
bership persons from fifteen or twenty different de-' 
nominational backgrounds of the most diverse tradi- 
tions, because they can there unite without doctrinal 

New Tracts Are Needed 

But something more is needed to give this union 
still greater appeal and validity. At the present time 
it is in some churches too simple and too superficial. 
It is too much as if the minister cared for little but 
numbers and their money. There are union churches 
of this character but Disciple churches endeavor to 
be more than that by being conscious of the prin- 
ciples (not dogmas) on which they unite. In order 
to develop this consciousness there is needed more 
care in cultivation of acquaintance with the history 
and teachings of the movement to which they belong. 
They need to know the "fourteen points'* and other 
facts. More systematic instruction of new members, 
of children and youth, and of the public, needs to be 
undertaken. Sermons have so far been most relied 
upon. In the early days periodicals and tracts were 
also important, but the periodicals of those times 
were largely filled with editorials and articles with 
very little of personal items and transient news after 
the fashion of the religious press today. There should 
be a revival of tracts and pamphlets which fit the 
pocket as well as the mind. Every church should 
have a literature table for the display and easy ac- 
cessibility of the writings designed to furnish infor- 


mation concerning the church and its work. It is 
surprising how little reading material of this kind 
has been published by Disciples in recent years. Per- 
haps it is because the old type of propaganda has 
ceased and nothing better suited to the times has 
been produced. Something seems to have worn out 
or lost force in the old familiar tract, Our Position, 
by Isaac Errett. Have men in places of leadership 
like George Campbell, C. H. Medbury, Burris Jen- 
kins, John Ray Ewers, C. E. Lemmon, Raphael 
Miller, W. F. Rothenburger, W. A. Shullenberger, 
L. N, D. Wells, Graham Frank, Frederick Kershner, 
F. H. Groom, A. C. Brooks, Hampton Adams, C. M, 
Chilton, Marvin Sansbury, George H. Combs, J. H. 
Goldner written tracts for the times to set forth the 
ideas and procedures of the Disciples and of their 
local churches? Maybe L. 0. Bricker and Robert 
Burns have done so. Possibly A. W. Fortune has 
something of the kind to his credit. What can the 
Christian Board of Publication supply in this line 
that has been written in the last ten or even twenty 
years? What of this nature is available for young 
people's conferences? 

Perhaps tracts belong to the youth of a movement 
when the sense of novelty and high importance are 
vivid. The third and fourth generation may easily 
assume that the path has been laid out and the di- 
rections made adequate to the guidance of all souls. 
But the tendency easily develops to forget that new 

I times need the old vigilance though the words and 
phrases may require different emphasis. There Have 
been changes in the translations of the New Testa- 
ment. The religious world has taken on new as- 
pects. More people have high school and college edu- 
cation. Science has illuminated and refashioned 
much of everyday life. Papers and magazines load 
down all crowded terminals of transportation. New 
religions have their monitors there. Old occult 
cults offer strange faiths. How seldom does one see 


in such places a sane, sober, and vital message of the 
Christian religion for modern man ? That this mod- 
ern man is hungry of heart for something to meet his 
religious needs is as true today as ever before. 

Failure of Nerve 

The Disciples just seem not to see that their true 
heritage is precisely what people today would eager- 
ly accept if it were presented to them in its fuller 
and deeper meaning. A hundred years ago the Dis- 
ciples stood up in the face of the old creeds and ob- 
tained a marvellous response. The century has' 
brought a great enhancement to reasonableness in 
religion at the very points where the Disciples m.ade 
their greatest gains. Such gains could be made 
again if the right notes were struck with the same 
skill and didactic appeal. Failure to see this fact is 
accompanied with "failure of nerve." Better under- 
standing through competent scholarship is needed. 
Such understanding brings conviction and the cour- 
age of conviction founded on knowledge wins 
men. That was the secret of the great achievements 
of the first leaders of the Disciples of Christ through 
a hundred years. It is not mere repetition and imi- 
tation that is required. There has been too much of 
that. The problems require fresh treatment in the 
general lines of development so well begun but wait- 
ing to be carried forward in the speech and manner 
of the present times. Nothing gives a better illus- 
tration of this than Christian union itself. The Dis- 
ciples seem to have no clear, vital pronouncements 
upon it suited to these times as they had for the 
times gone by. They had the initiative to launch 
the idea of union when there was little interest in 
it and much opposition to it. Now, when there is 
interest in it, and growing desire for it, the Dis- 
ciples speak no commanding word to help bring it 
about. They do not realize that the solving word is, 
A Creedless Faith. Protestantism is haltingly seek- 
ing "ecumenicity" through a minimum of doctrine. 


The Disciples should be saying to them and to all 
the world that the complete discarding of doctrine 
as a basis of fellowship is the sure and vital way to 
union of spirit and of deed. Love is the true ground 
of fellowship, love of Christ and love of man. This 
would be no more revolutionary in these times than 
it was a century ago to say to the religious world 
that they should give up their man-made creeds and 
take the New Testament alone as their rule of faith 
and practice. This solving word is already familiar 
to every good Disciple. "The word is very nigh unto 
thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou 
mayest do it." 

Loss of Educated Ministers 

There are some signs of hope. A realization is 
beginning to be felt that something is radically 
wrong, that the "movement" is not moving so well, 
that the poorly trained conservatives, whatever 
their zeal, cannot save the day. Too many fine 
spirits are leaving the Disciple ministry, going into 
business, or teaching, or social work. Some of them 
go into what they think are more "liberal" denomi- 
nations. One is tempted to say of these, as one of 
the saintly pioneers said of one who made the change, 
"It is difficult to believe that any one who goes out 
from us was ever of us." The real pathos of this is 
that in many such changes the individuals were not 
aware of the larger history and deeper meaning of 
the Disciple cause. They did not get it in college 
and they could not find it in Yale or Union or Har- 
vard. Until very recently they could not find it even 
in Disciple Bible Colleges. 

An Inferiority Complex 

This ignorance of the Disciple position and teach- 
ing on the part of Disciple ministers and otherwise 
educated laymen has very naturally produced an 
inferiority complex. If these people do not feel the 
"plea" to be important, how can they proclaim it 
with conviction and power? The result is that in 


Disciple pulpits may be heard sermons in the mode 
and language of the old theologies which are echoes 
of a past world of thought. Many of the books 
advertised in Disciple papers are from the same un- 
purged sources, and the reviewers do not seem to 
discern this fact. But for the most part Disciples 
are strangely immune to current theological thought 
and writing. Their greatest preachers are evan- 
gelistic, or literary, or devoted to social causes. They 
make good after-dinner speeches and get the ears of 
Rotarians. A few specialize in promotional work 
for missions, benevolences, secretaryships, and 
various educational and welfare enterprises. Their 
pastorates are usually short and busy with practical 
concerns. Reading runs to current news and peri- 
odicals more than to books that go beyond the "popu- 
lar" level. Naturally not many ministers living in 
this way, are able to know intimately the history 
and thought of their own tradition. 

Better Education of Ministers 

There is today a greater demand for better edu- 
cated ministers. It is felt that they should have a 
seminary course, or at least two or three years of 
graduate work beyond the college degree. Some 
denominations have practically established such 
requirements. The Disciples have a long waj'- to go 
to reach that goal but they will endeavor to do so, 
and it is important to see that as the training course 
lengthens, it will provide better facilities for 
acquaintance with the spheres of thought that have 
shaped Disciple history, and that are in jeopardy 
now. This may read to some like a contention for 
a narrow denominational training for Disciple 
ministers but that is not the case. It is an urgent 
insistence that the college and graduate work shall 
provide the best possible understanding of the mod- 
ern world of thought since the seventeenth century. 
It was in this period that the streams of thought 
developed which gave rise to a new democratic, 


scientific, philosophic, and religious outlook. With 
this outlook the Disciples of Christ arose, and it is 
this which accounts for their original sense of free- 
dom, of adventurousness, of reasonableness, and zeal 
for union. This outlook helps to understand the 
"fourteen points" and how they can be distinctive 
traits of the Disciples and at the same time make 
the Disciples ardent advocates of Christian union. 

Naked and Unashamed 

W. M. Forrest 

Some years ago, while giving a course of lectures 
before the University of Virginia, Professor Hugh 
Black, of Union Theological Seminary, New York 
City, said, "As a Scot and a Presbyterian, I refuse 
to be 'naked and unashamed'." It was in relation to 
creeds, confessions of faith, and systematic theology 
that he made the statement. Although it was said 
with the sense of humor that always made his 
addresses a delight to students and professors alike, 
it was, nevertheless, a declaration of principle. Dr. 
Black was not bound by the strict letter of Calvinism. 
Probably there was much in the Shorter Catechism, 
the Westminister Confession of Faith, and Calvin's 
Institutes that he had long since abandoned. But 
his antecedents and training demanded a philo- 
sophical foundation for his faith. His reason could 
not be satisfied to accept the simple statements of 
the primitive documents of the Christian religion as 
found in the New Testament without some formula- 
tion of their relation to the universe, and some sys- 
tematic expression of their significance in theologi- 
cal phraseology. 

Whatever his precise meaning, and whatever the 
relation to the now forgotten address as a whole, 
I recall thinking immediately of another Scot and 


Presbyterian who deliberately chose to be both 
"naked and unashamed." Alexander Campbell be- 
gan his ministry quite fully equipped with knowl- 
edge of the creeds and confessions of the Presby- 
terian church. Throughout his life he moved about 
among the terminology and tenets of Luther, and 
Calvin, and Arminius, and even of the Popes, quite 
sure-footedly. In addition to his familiarity with 
ancient theologies, he had knowledge of the philo- 
sophies of the new world of the Renaissance, and 
reflected the teachings of Locke and others of the 
English Enlightenment. Evidence of much of that 
has always been apparent to even superficial read- 
ing of Campbell's writings. The less obvious in- 
fluence of it upon his thought has been discussed by 
Professor Ames and his colaborers. 

When, however, it came to clothing himself, or the 
principles of his teaching, in either the finery or the 
rags of theological dogmas, Campbell rebelled. He 
tells us of the difficulty encountered in stripping 
himself of so much that he had been taught to 
reverence from his childhood. Only gradually could 
he bear to stand forth in the religious world "naked 
and unashamed." Long after he had done so, and 
taught his coreligionists to follow his example, the 
clergy and theologians of his day were as horrified 
and indignant as a modern Puritan might be in a 
colony of nudists. Speaking of the difficulty he had 
with himself Campbell tells us: 

"We were not, indeed, at first apprized of the 
havoc which our principles would make upon our 
opinions. We soon, however, found our principles 
and opinions at war at some points ; and the ques- 
tion immediately arose. Whether shall we sacrifice 
our principles to our opinions, or our opinions to 
our principles? We need not say we were com- 
pelled to the latter, judging that our principles 
were better than our opinions. Hence, since we 
put to sea on this bottom, we have been compelled 


to throw overboard some opinions once as dear to 
us as they now are to those who never thought of 
the difference between principle and opinion^' 
"The principle which was inscribed upon our ban- 
ner when we withdrew from the ranks of the sects 
was, 'Faith in Jesus as the true Messiah, and 
obedience to him as our Lawgiver and King, the 
only test of Christian character, and the only bond 
of Christian union and cooperation, irrespective 
of all creeds, opinions, commandments, and tra- 
ditions of men^." 

The bitter opposition and harsh criticism of these 
announced principles arose, not so much from their 
bare statement in Bible words, as from refusal to 
use or approve the current phraseology respecting 
them. It bewildered and outraged the Christians of 
the early nineteenth century to have their sacred 
vocabulary repudiated and derided. Note this cata- 

*'We shall go on to specify a sample of the Baby- 
lonish terms and phrases which must be purified 
from the christian vocabularly, before the saints 
can understand the religion they profess, or one 
another as fellow disciples. I select these from 
the approved standards of the most popular 
establishments; for from these they have become 
current and sacred style. Such are the following : 
Trinity, First, second, and third persons in the 
adorable Trinity ; God the Son ; and God the Holy 
Ghost. Eternal Son. The Son is eternally begot- 
ten by the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally pro- 
ceeding from the Father and the Son. The di- 
vinity of Christ, the humanity of Jesus Christ; 
the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Original sin. 
Spiritual death ; spiritual life. Covenant of works, 
covenant of grace. Effectual calling. Free grace. 
Total depravit>\ Eternal justification. Elect in- 

1. Christian System, p. 9. Standard Pub. Co. 

2. ibid p. 8. 


fants. Christian sabbath. Holy sacrament. 

Christian Baptist Vo. II, 1824, Burnet's edition, 

1858. Condensed from p. 159, 

Campbell added, "This is not the style of the 
oracles of God. It is all human, and may be as freely 
criticised as one of the numbers of the Spectator." 
But he was fully aware that he had laid himself 
open to accusation and denunciation as an irrever- 
ent heretic, "I would not be startled to hear that I 
have denied the faith and rejected the revealed 
character of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." In- 
deed, he had himself shrunk from the startling spec- 
tacle of what stripping off the habiliments of creedal 
conformity had done to him early in his career. "The 
application of the principle already stated trimmed 
us so naked that we strongly inclined to suspect its 
fallacy, and had well nigh abandoned it as a deceitfvX 
speculation. 3" 

Even well disposed people in the various com- 
munions, who tried to understand the new refor- 
mers, were confused and baffled. Hearing Campbell 
eloquently proclaiming Christ as Lord and Savior, 
listening to his championship of protestantism and 
Christian faith as against Roman Catholicism and 
infidelity, in his Purcell and his Owen debates, they 
might think that, after all, he was going around in 
the seemly garments of orthodoxy. They were only 
to be dismayed and scandalized later by finding 
themselves mistaken. The Evangelical Alliance, 
forerunner of a World Council of Churches, set forth, 
in 1846, at a truly ecumenical conference in London, 
a series of statements as a basis for a working union 
of the cooperating churches. They were approved 
by the assembly, but when Campbell passed them 
under review there were few of them that received 
unqualified endorsement. For instance, the second 
statement was "The unity of the Godhead and the 
Trinity of persons therein." No, said Campbell, "To 
3. Christian System p. 7, 1839. 


this proposition I cannot conscientiously assent, be- 
cause it is unscriptural and unintelligible." "The 
utter depravity of human nature in consequence of 
the fall" was the third declaration. No, said Camp- 
bell, "I cannot approve of the technical and meta- 
physical style of these great and good men^" 

Well, they said, he must be a Unitarian, or a 
Socinian, or an Arian, or a Latitudinarian or Anti- 
nomian. Someone, anyway, who will not stay 
clothed and in his right mind. But having long be- 
fore been "trimmed naked" he would not be confined 
in conventional raiment even for the privilege of 
being received into fellowship by the elect. 

Let it be carefully noted that in all this there was 
a practical end in view. Some of the nomenclature 
was rejected as essentially false. Some of it was dis- 
carded as obsolete. But whether true or false, 
ancient or modern, it was cast off as an obstacle to a 
gospel level to the comprehension of average men 
and women who should be won to Christ's way of 
faith and life. Moreover, it was fatal to the unity 
of the church, since the creeds and confessions were 
walls of separation between those who accepted them 
and those who rallied to the standard of some other 
leader or party. The union of Christians, being the 
ruling passion of his life, Campbell was not ashamed 
of the sacrifice of anything unessential to a Chris- 
tianity that could embrace all believers acknowledg- 
ing Christ as the guide of their lives. As all of us 
Disciples well know, he found the simplicity of the 
gospel of Christ in the New Testament, and the basis 
of Christian union there also. He would demand 
nothing of one seeking to become a Christian that 
was not required by the apostles and first evange- 
lists. He was sure that when all churches followed 
that practice, and expressel their faith in the simple 

4. Millennial Harbinger, Series III, Vol. IV, pp. 79, 81. 
For full reports and discussions, see series of articles in Vols. 
Ill and IV. 


terms of the Bible, instead of the metaphysical 
phrases of scholastic theology, they would find them- 
selves united in the church of Christ. 

"It is not the acknowledgement of a good rule, but 
the walking by it, that secures the happiness of so- 
ciety.^" To a remarkable degree Campbell formu- 
lated, acknowledged, and walked by the rule of re- 
quiring nothing in faith or practice not authorized 
by apostolic command. He adhered closely to his 
plan to use only scriptural terms in any discussion 
of doctrine, and any formulation of the conditions of 
the unity of the churches. To him the church in apos- 
tolic times was one. It continued to be one as long 
as it adhered to its primitive simplicity of speech 
and practice. Therefore the way to reunite it was to 
abandon everything later than the apostolic times. 
Alas, nothing in life is quite that simple, and the 
church of the first century was riven by fundamental 
discords as disastrous as those of later times. But 
the years have proved that soundness and value were 
in the position of Campbell. Both as a guide to the 
steps of seekers after the way into the church, and 
as a platform on which all Christians may unite, it 
has proved helpful to practically all denominations. 
However, there is another matter to which attention 
is now invited. 

Stripping off the vestments of ecclesiasticism and 
scholasticism required time ; to go about in the world 
without them took even longer. Alexander Camp- 
bell did not live long enough to accomplish either in 
full measure. On the gradual attainment of perfec- 
tion in applying his rule he said in 1835: 

"The Bible alone is the Bible only, in word and 
deed, in profession and practice; and this alone 
can reform the world and save the church. Judg- 
ing others as we once judged ourselves, there are 
not a few who are advocating the Bible alone, 
and preaching their own opinions. Before we 

5. Christian System, p. 5. 


applied the Bible alone to our views, or brought 
our views and religious practices to the Bible, we 
plead the old theme, — 'The Bible alone is the re- 
ligion of the Protestants'. But we found it an 
arduous task, and one of twenty year's labor, to 
correct our diction and purify our speech accord- 
ing to the Bible alone ; and even yet we have not 
wholly practically repudiated the language of Ash- 
dod. We only profess to work and walk by the 
rules which will inevitably issue in a pure speech, 
and in right conceptions of that pure, and holy, 
and celestial thing called Christianity, — in faith, 
in sentiment, and in practice.®" 
Campbell's early correspondence with Barton W. 
Stone, and the discussions issuing from their dif- 
ferences, and eventuating in their union, reveal both 
the struggle to live by his rule, and his inability to 
do so fully. That remarkable man whose work in 
Kentucky preceded, paralled, and blended with the 
reforms of Campbell and his coadjutors in Virginia, 
found the latter hesitant and inclined to oppose the 
union of their two movements. Replying to a letter 
from Stone challenging some of his views expressed 
in a published letter respecting the Trinity, Camp- 
bell addressed him, 
"Brother Stone,- 1 will call you brother because you 
once told me that you could conscientiously and 
devoutly pray to the Lord Jesus Christ as though 
there was no other God in the universe than he. I 
then asked you of what import and consequence 
was all the long controversy you had waged with 
the Calvinists on the trinitarian question. They 
did practically no more than pray to Jesus; and 
you could consistently and conscientiously do no 
less. Theoretically you differed, but practically 
you agreed."^" 
The important matter here is not phraseology that 

6. Christian System, p. 6. 

7. Christian Baptist, pp. 333-335, 379. 


Stone called in question. Both parties to the dis- 
cussion seem to have conceded freedom there, as 
neither was formulating dogmas. They were only 
expressing opinions in such manner as they saw fit. 
But the ground upon which Campbell was willing to 
call Stone brother seems to have been an acceptance 
of a strict trinitarian view of Christ in relation to 
God. That was certainly contrary to his principle 
that all required as a profession of faith, both for 
admission to the church, and as a basis for the union 
of Christians, was "I believe that Jesus is the Christ 
the Son of the living God." If the confessor was 
then to be catechised on the precise meaning of the 
terms used, or obliged to testify that he could pray 
to Christ " as though there was no other God in the 
universe," then the bottom on which Campbell and 
his fellows had put to sea was being scuttled by their 
own hands. 

Stone was quick to see and deplore the implica- 
tions of this: 

"Brother Campbell, I will call you brother, but 
for a different reason than you have assigned why 
you call me brother. ... If you call those only 
brethern, who can conscientously pray to the Lord 
Jesus as though there were no other God in the 
universe than he, and who supremely venerate 
him, then, my dear Sir, I am excluded from the 
number. . . . From all your public exhibitions 
from the press and from the pulpit, as well as from 
your private communications, we have been in- 
duced to believe that you fraternized with all who 
believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, 
and who were willingly obedient to his command- 
ments. This we had thought was the only term of 
fellowship on which you insisted with so much 
zeal and sound argument.^" 

8. Christian Messenger, Vol. II, No. 12, as quoted by F. N. 
Gardner, The Scroll, March '43. I have not the Messenger 
at hand. 


Even after Stone and the Christians, and Camp- 
bell and the Disciples united in 1832, and years had 
passed, it would seem from a long correspondence 
between Campbell and J. J. Harvey, of the Chris- 
tians who had not entered into the union, that the 
former had not fully learned to abide by his declared 
principles. Harvey transmitted an overture for 
union from his conference to the Disciples and Uni- 
tarians and others in 1845. The discussion went on 
in the Millennial Harbinger for several years with 
indeterminate results, because Campbell dealt with 
dilferences of theological views, instead of points 
of agreement. In short, he seems always to have 
feared being classed as not a Trinitarian while re- 
fusing to employ the trinitarian vocabulary. Though 
disclaiming this fear, in the letter to which Stone 
took exception, as noted above, he alluded to it, 
among other reasons, for not wanting to talk about 
the Trinity: 

"It was also stated that there was no topic in 
common estimation so awfully sacred as that of 
the Trinity, and it a man did not speak in a very 
fixed and set phase on this subject, he endangered 
his whole christian reputation and his own use-" 

Stone and his fellow Christians took a bolder 
course, and so were commonly accused of unitarian- 
ism, which was an inaccurate classification. But it 
is not surprising that Campbell was like Moses and 
many other leaders in that he led his people to the 
borders of a promised land of freedom, which he 
never fully entered. His noted Sermon on the Law 
is another illustration of the same point. As deliv- 
ered in 1816, and published in the Millennial Har- 
binger in 1846,^^ and as epitomized in the Christian 
System of 1839 in the chapter of the Bible,^^ the ser- 

10. Christian Baptist p. 333, 

11. Series III, Vol. Ill, pp. 493-521. 

12. pp. 15-18. 


mon opened the way for every Disciple to enter 
freely upon the fascinating field of Higher Criti- 
cism. Campbell himself had little conception of 
where his enunciated principles would lead, or how 
far their application would strip bare anew those 
who followed them. Almost nothing that he accept- 
ed about the Bible as to authorship, date, unity of 
composition, was to pass unscathed through the fires 
of historical criticism. Yet he was far in advance 
of his age, and intelligent acceptance of his revolu- 
tionary views should have found every Disciple 
free-born, instead of having to purchase this free- 
dom with a great price. 

(To be continued in the Fehmary Scroll) 

Brotherhood or Chaos 

Sterling W. Brown, St. Louis, Mo. 

There have been many crises in the history of the 
world when the most significant values of culture 
have been held in jeopardy as mankind has tottered 
on the brink of chaos. In a very real sense the pres- 
ent fires of world conflict are the hazardous flames 
of chaotic strife. The terrible ravages of this global 
war, with its mounting toll of young men suddenly 
and violently catapulted into eternity, with more 
than 30,000,000 men, women and children wander- 
ing homeless and hungry across the face of Europe, 
and the displacement of life that leaves few fam- 
ilies of the world untouched by death, wounds, or 
persecution, are indeed inimicable to the human 

But in view of a longer perspective, if the church 
fails to motivate the peoples of the world to estab- 
lish some semblance of an order based upon fra- 
ternity, justice, and morality, the future of what 
we call civilization is destined for a chaos darker 
even than the war-weary world of the present. 


The slogan selected for Brotherhood Week, Feb- 
ruary 20-27, sponsored by the National Conference 
of Christians and Jews, makes clear the sharp edge 
of the inescapable decision. In one blazing statement 
it challenges and, within the same breath, sets a 
Shall Not Repeat litself." This gives the religious 
forces of America a challenge to make workable the 
most fundamental principle of the Judeo-Christian 
movement and the ideal of democracy. The choice 
is a limited one. There is no neutral ground. It is 
brotherhood or chaos ! 

The frontier of the new world is thus placed be- 
fore us. It must be "one world," or a series of in- 
terminable wars as history goes on repeating itself. 
The church must develop a world mind to cope with 
the global world that faces us with the coming 
peace ; every person being taught to be first of all a 
citizen of the world, a member of the human fellow- 
ship of all peoples. 

This answer for the ills of the world should not 
be new to the church. It is given in principle in the 
Book of Genesis when the claim is made that God 
hath made of one blood all the peoples of the world. 
It is repeated and emphasized in the teachings of 
Jesus regarding the brotherhood of man and the 
fatherhood of God. But the church has not believed 
it, or has not taken it seriously. The best that can 
be said is that man's response to the institutions for 
the common welfare established by the church is 
history's proof that brotherhood is possible. 

It is not the place of churchmen as such to attempt 
to be military geniuses. That matter must be left 
to those charged with winning the war. But, as 
former Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles 
stated a few weeks ago, the religious forces of this 
country can and must motivate statesmen to estab- 
lish an international order that will provide a just 
and durable peace. Few of us will have any direct 


responsibility for the rearrangement of frontiers or 
other specific terms of the peace table. We can, 
however, practice brotherhood in our own "parish" 
of the global world, and we can use our influence to 
spread the idea of co-operation. We cannot just slide 
into the new world. The long pull in order to win 
the peace lies ahead. We shall not know for a 
generation after the armistice whether we have won 
the peace or lost it. But we do know that ideas are 
basic in this war and they are even more significant 
for the establishment of an enduring peace. 

The use of ideas is not a new technique to reli- 
gious people. Ideologies have been the invisible 
weapons with which the church has won her most 
significant battles. And the emerging new world 
needs desperately the spiritual resources of religion 
— without them the forces of chaos will win. The 
spirit of compassion is needed to motivate the na- 
tions of plenty to feed starving millions, to give shel- 
ter to the millions of displaced peoples in the occu- 
pied countries, and to succor those left wounded in 
body and soul by the devastations of the war. 

But this alternative to chaos, brotherhood, will 
unsettle and perhaps unseat some of our churchmen. 
China, Africa, and India will demand new roles in 
the affairs of the post-war world. Out of these 
ancient cultures there is arising even now the stir- 
rings of a new hope and a new destiny. The new 
roads of land, air, and sea provide the way for a new 
awakening of peoples long dormant in world affairs. 
This means that the Caucasoid peoples numbering 
only 1/3 of the world's population will no longer be 
able to dominate and exploit the remaining 2/3 of 
the Negroid and Mongoloid peoples. 

The idea of world brotherhood is not a new idea to 
democracy; but it is an extension of it. The real 
American Dream is that of a cultural democracy — 
the hope that the many racial and ethnic groups 
may be blended to produce the ensemble of a cultural 


symphony. In addition to the 60 millions of Anglo- 
Saxons our country has 13 million Negroes, 10 
million Irish, 15 million Teutonic, 9 million Slavic, 5 
million Italian, 4 million Scandinavian, 2 million 
French, 1 million each of the Finns, Lithuanians, 
and Greeks, 1/3 million Indian, and 1/3 million Ori- 
ental, Fillipino and Mexican. The American way of 
life is that of granting to others the rights we de- 
mand for ourselves. Our problems with so-called 
minority groups will not be settled until we give 
them the rights they deserve. Actually all groups 
are minority groups in America. And when we 
deny liberty and democracy to any group we are 
threatening our own freedom. 

The principle of world brotherhood has cosmic 
support. This is the faith of all religious people. 
Even to the secular mind the hope for a better world 
is grounded in man's will to live better. Says the 
Russian poet, Surkov: 
"As the scorching wind of wars blows overhead, 

Man marches on through this ruthless age 

Guarding his heart against savagery 

By the dream of peace, fraternity and rest." 

Thomas Jefferson: His Religion 

Ed. H. Yeiser, Austin, Texas 
April 13th, 1943, was the two hundredth anniver- 
sary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson. We cherish 
his memory, and profit by his example. Much has 
been written of him, because he did so much to 
found our Republic, but little seems to have been 
written concerning his religious faith, which was no 
doubt the motive power behind his great achieve- 

Articles have appeared concerning the religion of 
Washington, and of Lincoln, and now that I have 
them in mind, I offer this one on the religion of 


Jefferson; being mindful, as I think of these 
worthies, Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson, of the 
words of Jesus : 

"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, because thou hast hid these things from the 
wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto 

Jesus made it clear in those words that we are not 
to look to the wise and understaanding as final au- 
thority for our religious convictions, but that we 
should look to the Father, who is making his reve- 
lations to all mankind. Were it not so the Christian 
religion could not be a universal one as it purports 
to be. 

So with the limitation placed by Jesus on the au- 
thority of the religious views of great men, it is not 
the purpose of this article to hold Jefferson up as a 
final authority on religion, but rather call attention 
to the source of his greatness ; by reviewing the facts 
found in the preface and introductory matter to, 
"The Jefferson Bible," entitled, "The Life and 
morals of Jesus" ; the review being a culling out of 
such facts and condensing them without in every 
instance making full quotations. 

The Jefferson Bible is taken from the English text 
of the little book compiled by Jefferson from the 
Gospels, in English, Greek, Latin, and French texts 
in columns side by side. At that tim.e he was a ma- 
ture man, being in the sixties, and he represented his 
work to be the result of a life of inquiry and refiec- 
tion concerning the Christian religion. It is a hand- 
some morocco-bound volume, labled on the back, 
"Morals of Jesus," and is owned by the U. S. Gov- 
ernment. The fact that his work is evidenced by 
the four texts shows that it was necessarily the re- 
sult of much reflection on his part. Likely very few 
persons reflect so much as he did on this most im- 
portant subject. 

He said : "I, too, have made a wee-little book from 


the same materials (The Gospels) which I call the 
Philosophy of Jesus. It is a paradigma of his doc- 
trines, made by cutting the texts out of the book and 
arranging them on pages of a blank book, in a cer- 
tain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or 
precious morsel of ethics I have never seen. It is a 
document in proof that I am a REAL CHRISTIAN, 
that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, 
very different from the Platonists, who call me infi- 
del and THEMSELVES Christian and preachers of 
the Gospel, while they draw all of their characteristic 
dogmas from what its author never said or did." 

In a comparative view of the ethics of the enlight- 
ened nations of antiquity, of the Jews, and of Jesus, 
Jefferson concluded : 

1. That the Philosophers' precepts related chiefly 
to ourselves, and the government of those passions 
which, unrestrained, would disturb our tranquility 
of mind; and that in developing our duty to others 
they were short and defective, scarcely viewd them 
as within the circle of benevolence. Still less have 
they inculcated peace, charity, and love to our fellow- 
men, or embraced with benevolence the whole family 
of mankind. 

2. That Jesus was meek, benevolent, patient, firm, 
impartial, and of the sublimest eloquence. In com- 
menting on the intrinsic merits of his doctrine Jef- 
ferson says, "xxx a system of morals is presented to 
us which, if filled up in the true style and spirit of 
the rich fragments he left us, would be the most per- 
fect and sublime that has ever been taught by man." 

3. That the moral doctrines of Jesus, 'relating to 
kindred and friends, were more pure and perfect 
than those of the most correct of the philosophers, 
and greatly more so than those of the Jews; and 
they went far beyond both in inculcating universal 
philanthropy, not only to kindred and friends, to 
neighbor and countrymen, but to all mankind, gath- 


ering all into one family, under the bonds of love, 
charity, peace, common wants and common aids,' 

4. The precepts of philosophy and of the Hebrew 
code laid hold on action only. He pushed his scru- 
tenies into the heart of man; erected his tribunal 
in the region of his thought, and purified the waters 
at the fountain head." 

5. "He taught emphatically the doctrine of a 
future state, which was either doubted or disbelieved 
by the Jews; and wielded it with efficacy as an im- 
portant incentive, supplementary to the other mo- 
tives to moral conduct." 

Following the preface and other introduction mat- 
ter to, "The Jefferson Bible," is the following con- 
clusion : 

"Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my 
God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world 
is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest 
and dutiful to society, the religion which has regu- 
lated it can not be a bad one, 

Thomas Jefferson." 

It should be a great consolation to all Christians 
to know that the great mind of Thomas Jefferson 
reflected on the teachings of Jesus for a life time, 
and found in them, 'beautiful or precious morsels of 
ethics, the most perfect and sublime that has ever 
been taught by man." Such information should 
also serve as a gentle reminder to those in the intel- 
lectual class that their minds also can find worthy 
materials in the teaching of Jesus on which to reflect 
for a life time. Who of us would care to pose as 
having a greater intellect than that of Thomas Jef- 
ferson ? 

Jefferson should be considered as being a pioneer 
in drawing the distinction between the Religion of 
Jesus, and the Religion about Jesus. He was not 
concerned with the latter, which likely caused him 
to be called infidel by the preachers of his day, whose 


primary concern was much like ours, The Religion 
About Jesus. Likely the day approaches when those 
who are truly disciples of the doctrines of Jesus will 
be called Christians by all. By their fruits, ye shall 
know them, said Jesus. 

On the other hand, the original definition by Jef- 
ferson as to what constitutes a Christian is a most 
constructive one, viz : "A disciple of the doctrines of 
Jesus," which was submitted by him as his proof 
that he was a REAL CHRISTIAN. He carried these 
doctrines into his statecraft, of which we are the 
beneficiaries. Likely his definition as to what con- 
stitutes a Christian is of more value than is the pre- 
valent conception of, Jesus as Lord, Lord, whose doc- 
trine is impractical. Such conclusion is apparently 
confirmed by the words of Jesus : 

*Not every one that sayeth unto me. Lord, Lord, 
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that 
doeth the will of my Father, (that is) heareth 
these words of mine and doeth them,' 

Could it fall to the lot of Thomas Jefferson to 
write the peace for the world when our present 
wars are at an end, it would likely be patterned after 
our Declaration of Independence written by him, 
and have breathed into it, 'peace, charity, and love 
to our fellow-men; gathering all into one family, 
under the bonds of love, charity, peace, common 
wants and common aids,' all because as he said, "I 
am a REAL CHRISTIAN, a disciple of the doctrines 
of Jesus." 


Peace on Earth 

Wm. F. Clarke, Duluth, Minn. 

In the King James bible one may read of an an- 
gelic host hovering over Judea's sacred hills on the 
first Christmas day and announcing to the aston- 
ished shepherds there assembled the birth of their 
long hoped for Messiah. That they had great joy 
in bringing to earth this wondrous message is evi- 
denced through the joyous refrain with which they 
accompanied it: "Glory to God in the highest and 
peace on earth, good will to men." 

During the centuries that have elapsed since the 
appearance of the King James bible myriads of mor- 
tals have chanted again and again this angelic re- 
frain, deriving from it ecstatic joy. The promise of 
peace and good will held forth to man in this chorus 
of the angels has filled man with delightful hope. 
That this hope has persisted could seem very strange 
to anyone of the present time. For when one looks 
out over the world today one sees the war and hatred 
spread over all the earth, and this almost two thous- 
and years since the promise was brought down from 
Heaven. One is reminded here of the saying: 
"Though oft cast down hope springs eternal in the 
human breast." 

One's tendency to wonder over the joy evoked in 
human hearts by this message from Heaven is 
strengthened when one examines the message a bit 
more thoughtfully. Does the message announce a 
change of attitude on the part of the God of Heaven? 
It would seem so. If formerly God had been mani- 
festing good will towards men then why this present 
promise of good will with a fan-fare from Heaven? 
It is of course true that often man had felt that 
God's hand was against him. In fact man often 
feels that way still. This appears in that concept of 
Jesus which represents him as interceding with God 
in behalf of man. Such a concept would of course 


make the birth of Jesus a great event in the life of 
earth. Assuming that he had the power to intercede 
with God effectively, thereby turning away from 
man the wrath of God, then indeed he could be an- 
nounced as man's redeemer. He would appear as a 
friend of man, coming between man and his enemy, 
God. And this often is presented more as the func- 
tion of Jesus, even by theologians. And they seem 
warranted in doing so by the author of Hebrews, for 
he represents Jesus as an intercessor through whom 
men are enabled to approach God. But it has been 
pointed out that this is an incorrect translation. 
Obviously it is an objectionable idea. If Jesus has 
to intercede with God in man's behalf then clearly he 
is a greater friend of man than God is. But this we 
can not accept. Jesus himself has told us that he 
and the Father are one. Therefore whatever God's 
attitude towards man may be Jesus would have the 
same attitude. Moreover it is inconceivable that God 
would ever assume a wrong attitude towards man. 
So nothing could be gained by interceding with 
him. He knoweth our frame, he remembers that we 
are dust. He is a God of love and we are his chil- 
dren. He is a perfect father, understanding us per- 
fectly and knowing therefore what is best for us and 
planning to give that to us when the proper time 
comes. These are facts which men overlook when 
they bombard God's throne with multitudinous re- 
quests. It is true that God answers all prayers, but 
if the prayers be not in line with his will his answer 
is "No." In such cases it is not God's attitude that is 
wrong, but the attitude of him who is praying. And 
so it is folly to seek to change God's attitude. And 
this is why Jesus cannot be thought of as an inter- 
cessor. Therefore we must think either that the 
author of Hebrews was mistaken as to the function 
of Jesus or that we have here a mistranslation. 
Some scholars have asserted that the latter is the 
situation. They tell us that the author of Hebrews 


represented Jesus, not as interceding with God, but 
as counseling with him in man's behalf. He is coop- 
erating with God in the work of man's redemption. 
And this is a wholly acceptable and cheering concept. 
Then how are we to understand the message 
brought to the Judean shepherds by angels from the 
realms of glory? How are we to escape from its 
suggestion of a change of attitude towards man on 
the part of God? Here again we are able to discover 
a misrepresentation of God through a study of the 
original text. Such a study reveals that the message 
of the angels was not "Peace on earth, good will to 
men," but "Peace on earth to men of good will." A 
little more precise translation gives us the reading : 
"Peace on earth to men longing for the good." This 
is a very different idea. The good will is not 
ascribed to God, but to man. It reminds one of the 
beatitude of Jesus: "Blessed are they who hunger 
and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be 
filled." Clearly this contemplates a personal experi- 
ence, though it of course has its social implications. 
So is it with the Christmas message of the angels. 
The message contemplates personal experience. It is 
helpful to recall here Paul's picture of the experience 
of the man devoid of the aid afforded man by Jesus. 
Such a man, if he be one longing for the good, finds 
himself terribly handicapped. The good that he 
would like to do he fails to do, and the bad he would 
not do, that he does. To make more graphic the 
plight of such a man Paul represents him as going 
about with a corpse tied to him and dragged behind 
him. But Paul does not stop here. He goes on to 
tell us that the man does not have to remain in this 
predicament. Through the strength offered him by 
Christ he can escape from "this body of death." This 
would, of course, bring to such a man boundless and 
blissful peace. And this is the peace promised by 
the angels. It is promised to men of good will, and 
not to others. If, then, we find the world filled with 


strife, as it is at the present time, this does not dis- 
credit the angels, nor does it annul their promise. It 
only shows that there is still in the world a great 
lack of goodwill. Another aspect of the situation 
may be derived from David, who, in his seventy- 
second psalm, sets forth the idea that peace comes to 
people by means of righteousness. Goodwill begets 
righteousness. If the people of the earth had more 
goodwill they would be more righteous. And being 
more righteous they would enjoy a greater portion 
of peace. 

The coming Christmas will find mankind ardently 
longing for peace. They hope for peace through a 
military victory. But already it has been pointed 
out that peace may be lost even if such a victory be 
gained. There can be no doubt but that the quelling 
of vandalism by means of military might is a right- 
eous procedure and tributary to great good. But 
force of arms is not the only means to banditry. 
Banditry may also employ political and economic 
means. Men can and do rob, persecute and slay 
their fellows by just such means. There can be no 
peace and happiness on earth save as its inhabitants 
manifest goodwill and righteousness in all their 

In closing it should be noted that in spite of the 
King James rendering of the angelic message, where- 
by the goodwill is ascribed to God, men have not 
been able to escape the feeling of obligation on their 
part to manifest goodwill towards their fellows. 
Their manifestation of this trait falls far short of 
what it should be, but it is quite marked throughout 
the Christmas season, golrifying it as the most joy- 
ous season of all the year. If this manifestation of 
goodwill characteristic of Christmas could be 
extended and expanded throughout the year, then 
might we truly chant with the angels, "Glory to God 
in the highest." 


Working with Working People 

Eugene May, Gary, Indiana 

Our church is made up entirely of working people. 
I mean by that that the men are members of the 
labor unions or are foremen in the steel mills of 
Gary. We take no undue satisfaction in this fact 
and there has been no inclination on the part of pas- 
tor or people to restrict the membership. Both 
pastor and people have many friends among the pro- 
fessional people of the city and some of their chil- 
dren attended our church school. There seem to be 
two reasons why there might be interest in an article 
like this. First, there seems to be a wide spread 
conception that working people are not supporting 
the church. If that conception is true the success of 
our church should be a challenge. Second, there 
seems to be a wide spread conception that a congre- 
gation composed only of working people would be a 
considerable handicap. It is some handicap and we 
have been trying to interest some professional peo- 
ple in our church but in the mean time we have 
gone on growing and being happy in a very real and 
helpful fellowship. 

Nearly ninety percent of our members have come 
into the church in the last ten years. They have 
come in response to what occurs to me, to be a sane, 
rational and liberal program. By liberal I mean a 
noble integrity in personal attitudes and behavior 
and generosity in one's attitude and dealings with 

I have found these working people possessed of a 
high quality of intelligence. Our boys going into the 
armed services would rank with a similar group 
from any other church in promotions earned. In 
the steel mill mental and skill competence tests of a 
few years ago three of our young men distinguished 
themselves. One won first place in an academic-type 


test and another took the parts of a complicated 
machine that he had not seen before and assembled 
it in less time than any other person had ever done 
it. Another ranked fourth in the latter, or mechani- 
cal aptitude test. When you realize that some twenty 
thousand men had opportunity to participate in this 
measurement of ability you will agree, perhaps, that 
the accomplishments of these three young men was 
significant and an encouraging indication. 

They have not only responded to a rational com- 
mon sense type of religion but have also indicated 
their desire to stay clear of an overly emotional 
type of religion. Instead of being disturbed or 
envious when they learn of some church making a 
great spurt of enthusiasm and growth they ask if 
the growth is real or apparent, temporary or lasting, 
and maintain their pride and satisfaction in their 
own less spectacular but more solid progress. 

The elders and deacons have developed a splendid 
attitude toward their offices. They perform their 
duties, which are in connection with the worship 
service, in a splendid and dignified manner. They 
welcome members and strangers to the services as 
genial and accomplished hosts and conduct the busi- 
ness affairs of the church without friction and in a 
business like manner. The church school superin- 
tendent, a lady, is the envy of all neighboring 
churches. The Woman's Council has used more 
than thirty different women in major offices in the 
last five years indicating a wealth of leadership and 
we have more women waiting their turn to serve. 
The Council redistributes its membership into Cir- 
cles each year, by lot, which we feel makes a con- 
tribution to promoting acquaintance and fellowship. 
It has made the principal payments on the building 
debt, each Circle accepting an equal apportionment 
and no Circle has failed a single month in six 
years to have its quota. 

There is nothing spectacular about the Glen Park 


Christian Church. We have gone along growing 
moderately, paying our bills, (we have not had an 
every-member canvass nor personally solicited for 
funds in the last five years) enjoying the companion- 
ship of fellow- workers and rejoicing in our oppor- 
tunities of service. 

These people frequently amaze their pastor, who 
has learned to expect much, by their insights and 
abilities. They are accomplished hosts. At a church 
banquet they overlook no detail that will contribute 
to its success. Their tastes call for white linen, 
gleaming silver, cut flowers, ingenious favors or 
place cards and food that is appetizingly prepared 
and food that is appetizingly reared and served and 
even with rationing amazingly abundant. The same 
is true when they are entertaining in their homes. 
It is a source of great satisfaction to the pastor not 
to have that embarrassed request that he say grace 
while the children give a dozen indications that this 
is not the familiar routine. When their pastor goes 
to dinner it is not uncommon for the husband to 
offer thanks himself or to read some poem or other 
carefully selected approprite piece while the whole 
family gives the impression that this is a normal 
procedure. It gives one the feeling that religion is a 
very real thing to them. 


Vol. XLI. FEBRUARY, 1944 No. 6 

The Disciples of Christ and 

E. S. Ames 
While the Disciples of Christ have no formulated 
system of philosophy or theology, they do have their 
place in a movement of thought which may be char- 
acterized as modern empiricism. It began with the 
emergence of new forms of thought and behavior in 
the seventeenth century. It developed through the 
Renaissance, and the Enlightenment, and continues 
in types of philosophical empiricism and realism in 
the present day. This empiricism consciously set 
itself off from the scholasticism which preceded it 
in the Middle Ages. It rejected the metaphysical 
system identified with the intellectual absolutism 
and sylogistic logic of Aristotle, and turned to direct 
observation of the facts of nature and the experi- 
ence of man, and employed the method of experi- 
mentation and induction. It was from this observa- 
tion and experimentation, involving for the first 
time in history the use of scientific laboratories, that 
the great advance of modern science developed. This 
scientific procedure has increased in range and fruit- 
fulness in every field of inquiry. It has been applied 
with significant consequences in the study of the 
great literatures of the world, and in the various 
social sciences. Often the fact is overlooked that 
the most important studies of biblical literature in 
the last hundred years, and especially in the last 
fifty years, have been carried on by the use of sci- 
entific methods. These are the methods of "higher 
criticism" which have made the scriptures more in- 
telligible and illuminating to the human mind. 
When the question is raised as to what science has 


done for religion, it may be answered that science 
has given us a real understanding of the scriptures, 
of the historical processes, dates, and social origins 
of these scriptures, than which nothing is more im- 
portant for appreciation of the religious history 
they transmit. 

Science is the method of obtaining systematized 
and tested knowledge, and it is applicable to every 
field of experience. Science is a tool. It is not an end 
in itself and it does not pretend to be the whole of 
experience. It serves knowledge and life somewhat 
as reading and writing serve. The discoveries and 
inventions of the sciences have aided in securing 
new knowledge of nature and man which is basic 
for an intelligent view of the development of re- 
ligious beliefs and institutions from the simplest to 
the highest and most complex. By such means light 
has been found which is essential to the understand- 
ing of many problems in present day religious life, 
such as the differences and values of the great world 
religions, and of the various denominations of 
Christendom. This stream of modern thought, like 
any great river system, runs at different depths in 
its course, sometimes shallow and slow, sometimes 
deep and swift, turning and winding, edging out 
new channels, but still identifiable as the same 

That the Disciples are in this stream of distinctly 
modern thought is shown by their rejection of scho- 
lasticism, and of traditional protestant dogmas which 
are now seen to be much akin to scholasticism in 
many respects. The dogma of human depravity and 
original sin is the key doctrine of these historic 
forms. It is that doctrine, explicitly or implicitly, 
with which the task of religious education still 
wrestles. The traditionalists hold that it is only by 
an act of supernatural grace that man can be made 
religious. When Horace Bushnell published his 
views on Christian Nurture, now nearly a hundred 
years ago, it was met by intense opposition on the 


ground that he proposed the possibility of develop- 
ing christian character by natural means through 
the home and the school. The Disciple position has 
been in substantial agreement with Bushnell, though 
independently formulated, holding that the child 
was not by nature irreligious and under the ban of 
original sin. This was one reason the Disciples 
abandoned infant baptism, and why they held to a 
new view of conversion. By example and training 
they thought the child could be influenced to make 
an intelligent and voluntary choice about religion 
when he reached the age of accountability. 

This process of nurture through education rec- 
ognized the inherent capacity of the human being 
to grow religiously through interaction with reli- 
gious people in the environment, and imaginatively 
by interaction with religious people in biblical and 
other history. They might also grow under the ex- 
perience of meeting moral and religious problems in 
their daily life. The same principles were held to 
operate in all forms of education. Skill in languages 
involved their use in working with the stories, 
events and ideas of the history and ideas recorded 
in those languages. Unless interest in those ideas 
and events were awakened with the study of the 
languages, language became dead, formal, and irk- 

The same principle applied to the study of the 
sciences and the arts. Where the student could see 
the principles of physics operating in airplanes and 
radios he developed skill and power in the under- 
standing and use of those principles. The same 
process was seen to obtain in the areas of morals 
and religion. The meaning of f airplay and of jus- 
tice could be appreciated in playing games, and in 
the games of politics and business. The virtues of 
cooperation, patience, honesty, initiative and cour- 
age were concretely obvious wherever people asso- 
ciated together in work, in the home, or in the com- 
munity. - 


The problems and processes of higher education 
are not different in principle. Here also it is the' 
development of natural capacity through interaction 
with the actual world, the world of people and of 
nature. Education goes astray when it is dominated 
by authoritarian methods, or when it seeks to culti- 
vate the individual out of relation to his fellows and 
to the real world of experience. This is often sadly 
illustrated by the quest of art for art's sake, or cul 
ture for culture's sake. That way leads to the ivory; 
tower of isolation and futility. The ivory tower has* 
long been a museum-like depository for theoretical, 
metaphysical, principles enjoyed for themselves i 
alone in contemplation. It is only when these prin-' 
cipies are made operative in a concrete world of ac- 
tion and social relations that they become fruitful. 
Education also goes astray when it emphasizes too 
much the immediately practical activities, even of 
professional skills or social reform_s without critical 
reflection. A balance of theory and practical experi- 
ence is essential to the best results. That is the con- 
tention of a defensible empiricism. The architect has 
now and then to withdraw from the work in hand 
to consult his plans and to take a detached view of 
the whole situation. 

If the Disciples were alive to the problems of 
higher education in terms of the empiricism which 
is their heritage they would recognize that their li 
colleges, as in other denominations, suffer today 
from formalism, specialization, and lack of philo- 
sophical and religious integration with their prac- 
tical world. Their students get respectable training 
in details but are offered little sense of a unified 
life of culture and religion, of science and religion, 
of philosophy and religion, or of college training 
and the total life process which awaits them. In 
theory the remedy for this situation is not difficult 
to state. Any college that would seriously work it 
out might lead the way into a new era of education 
and religion. It would mean that every subject 


worthy to be taught could be viewed as having re- 
ligious significance because it could contribute to 
the meaning and fulfillment of life if it were seen 
in its proper relations with the whole college life 
and with the life of the society within which the 
college functions. Every member of the faculty 
might then be a professedly religious person, and 
be inspired by the common, shared ideal of all mem- 
bers of the institution. Until some such integration 
is accomplished education will continue to be piece- 
meal, competitive, and at war within itself. To 
achieve a significant basis and procedure for peace 
in little communities and in the larger communities 
of the whole world there needs to be achieved a 
sense of wholeness, of interdependence, of mutual 
aid, and of reasonable and appealing forms of com- 
mon attitudes and action. These ends wait upon 
an education that is integrally and vitally religious, 
and upon a religion that is intelligent, reasonable, 
and inherently commanding. 

The reflections of Waymon Parsons in this issue 
are very welcome even if they carry gross misrep- 
resentations of Ye Editor. We are willing to see car- 
toons of ourselves any day in order to get interest- 
ing articles! The difficulty with these observations 
is geographical. If the observer were in Boston, 
Atlanta, or San Francisco, he would have a different 
impression of New York and Chicago. At least Chi- 
cago's "angels" would have to be seen through the 
smoke of gangsters, politicians, and the development 
of a beautiful city from the almost primitive con- 
ditions of a century ago. We, in Chicago, are proud 
of ourselves for having come as far as we have from 
such beginnings. In such an analogy Ye Editor sees 
la truth concerning the goodness of man. He holds 
to meliorism, not to optimism or pessimism. 


Naked and Unashmed 

W. M. Forrest 


The second generation of Disciples were little 
troubled by, or even aware of, theological problems 
and dogmas. With the exception of those who came 
in adult life from various denominations, theo- 
logical and creedal nakedness was the only condi- 
tion with which they were familiar. Quite largely 
cut off from fellowship with members of other com- 
munions by the acrimony engendered by the new 
reformation, they could move about with their fel- 
low Disciples unashamed of their lack of meta- 
physical clothing. The young preachers graduating 
from Bacon, Bethany, or later colleges, and the 
larger number taking up preaching without formal 
education of any kind, found the "purity of speech" 
derived from the New Testament adequate to their 

An examination of our literature from the time 
Alexander Campbell gave up the editorship of the 
Millenial Harbinger, two years before his death in 
1866, until its publication ceased in 1870, reveals 
its pages almost totally barren of concern with 
theology. Files of the weekly papers of the church 
are not at hand, but W. T. Moore's Christian Quar- 
terly from its beginning in 1867 to its cessation in 
1876 is available. In so substantial and creditable 
a quarterly would surely be found the theological 
essays of the Disciples, if anywhere. There is little 
of that nature. What there is, like W. K. Pendle- 
ton's discussion of Atonement, came from the men 
whose careers began early in the time of Campbell. 
Volumes of Lard's Quarterly from 1865 to 1868 are 
equally devoid of speculative theology. 

Another cross section of Disciple interest is found 
in The Living Pulpit, a volume of twenty eight ser- 
mons by the most noted preachers of the time, edited 


by W. T. Moore in 1868. They are mostly on what 
we know as "first principles," or on practical sub- 
jects of concern to the churches where the sermons 
were preached. Thomas Munnell preached on the 
Atonement, H. T. Anderson, on Jesus of Nazareth 
is the Theanthropos, James Challen, on Reconcilia- 
tion, Robert Graham, on Regeneration. The themes 
are dealt with in simple style and biblical language 
for the benefit of average congregations. The theo- 
logical or philosophical backgrounds of such sub- 
jects were not explored. 

Unfortunately, there emerged in this period a 
number of questions related to church polity and 
procedure in worship that eclipsed all else. Despite 
the sanity of Campbell's teaching in general, a dan- 
gerous element of legalism arose from his battle 
cries : "The Bible as the only rule of faith and prac- 
tice"; "Where the Scriptures speak we speak, and 
where the Scriptures are silent we are silent" ; 
"Nothing in faith or practice for which there is not 
a 'thus saith the Lord,' or apostolic precedent." His 
own example in opposition to putting musical in- 
struments in churches had great weight with his 
successors. His rather late, and somewhat halting 
endorsement of missionary societies was unconvinc- 
ing. Not until mid-century did such an organization 
appear, and not by his initiative. In the matter of 
church music, he condemned the use of musical 
instruments. They were fit only for "those who 
have no real devotion or spirituality in them and 
whose animal nature flags under the oppression of 
church service." Instrumental music might be for 
such "an essential prerequisite to fire up their souls 
to even animal devotion." To others they would be 
"as a cowbell in a concert."^ 

A. Campbell Garnett traces the legalism to the 
influence of Locke. ^ Whoever was to blame, the 

1 Millenial Harbinger, Series IV, Vol. 1, p. 582. 

2 Christian Evangelist, Vol. 81, No, 44, pp. 1059, 1060, 
No. 3, 1943. 


Disciples wasted their resources and opportunities 
in heated debate and internecine strife over the 
scriptural propriety of church organs and mission- 
ary societies. This "put brothers so far apart they 
could not hear each other speak/' except in the loud 
tones of angry recrimination which left them, to 
the present day, a divided brotherhood, pleading 
with other Christians to unite. 

Although the main body of the reformers carried 
on with a sanity that made progress possible, they 
had restricted opportunity for intellectual and spir- 
itual development. Proposals for the establishment 
of theological schools for the training of ministers 
were hotly debated. Even when it was explained 
that no theology would be taught in them, and that 
no one would prevent preachers, or prospective 
preachers, with no education whatever, from con- 
tinuing to preach; and that only a few might be 
provided with "enlarged courses of study to furnish 
a body of learned advocates," the opposition con- 

The best that could even be attempted was to try 
to get a Chair of Sacred History in some of the col- 
leges, and a College of the Bible connected with oth- 
ers. Loos stated what was needed in a School for 
Preachers : 

"It must be vureUj and thoroughly Biblical." 
"Systems of Theology, the production of men, 
timeworn, worm eaten, effete, and 'ready to pass 
away,' can have no place nor lot in our system of 
education." "We shall seek to fortify the rising 
ministry against every form of unscriptural inno- 
vation." And "the ministry must be fortified 
against any inducement to compromise the truth 
of God with sectarianism, for respectability's 
sake, or for Charity's sake."^ 

3M. H. Vol. XXXVI, B. Franklin against, pp. 364-368; 
W. K. Pendleton for, pp. 368-372. Also for, Isaac Errett, 
pp. 416-418; C. L. Loos, pp. 449-454; and Thos. Munnell, 
pp. 523-525. 

4 ibid, pp. 566-570. 


Thus nakedness was to be maintained at all costs. 
If it rendered us incapable of interdenominational 
cooperation in general Christian tasks, that was 
thought praiseworthy. Anjrthing else was being 
"unequally yoked with unbelievers." Or, more 
crudely," going a whoring after the sects." 

Let no one conclude that all the men dealing with 
such matters were blind conservatives. All except 
Franklin, listed above, were among the progressives 
of the new generation. He was by no means of the 
strictest sect of our Pharisees. Charles Louis Loos 
was one of God's noblemen, and moved constantly 
towards the progressive side. They were all of a 
newly emancipated company, cautious lest they 
might be entangled in the bondage of a tyrannous 
sectarianism. But their caution, like that of Alex- 
ander Campbell, was pushed by others to such ex- 
tremes that it issued in a disastrous isolationism, 
and a ruinous secessionism, as well as in an ignor- 
ance of religious philosophy. That left many other- 
wise intelligent men a prey to ludicrous mistakes, 
and destructive errors. 

As for the isolationism, it cut us off from whole 
hearted cooperation in inter-communal movements 
of high importance. Campbell, as we have seen, 
stood aloof from the Evangelical Alliance which 
was a most valuable and remarkable federation of 
churches for the good of all Protestants. Today we 
still have elements who will have none of the Fed- 
eral Council of the Churches of Christ, or of a World 
Council of Churches, to say nothing of the great 
interdenominational missionary and educational so- 
cieties. Some refused to have Sunday Schools, or 
Christian Endeavor Societies, in any church of 
which they were members. In 1868 John W. Mc- 
Garvey took A. S. Hayden severely to task for writ- 
ing on "Expediency and Progress," because, among 
other things, he favored an adaptability, and give 
and take by our people in relations with others. He 


suggested improvements in our church music, and 
literature, our sermons, our manners, our "stinted 
and illiberal policy" in standing off from Sunday 
School Union. McGarvey was deeply stirred, espe- 
cially regarding music, Sunday Schools, and "liber- 
ality of sentiment, and our bearing towards other 
Christian Societies."^ 

As for secessionism, it tore us asunder back in 
the no organ, no missionary society days, and to this 
day there are many communities where the two fac- 
tions have rival churches on opposite corners of the 
street. Yet more unhappily, another chasm has been 
opened in recent years by our Restorationists, over 
various questions of missionary policy, biblical crit- 
icism, open membership, and orthodoxy in general. 
As champions of Christian union, it is hard to live 
down such scandals. 

As for mistakes, and damaging error, they are 
of more immediate concern to this discussion than 
the matters just noted. Recall what was said above 
by C. L. Loos about having absolutely no theology 
in the proposed School for Preachers. Then note 
this quotation from A. S. Hayden's much discussed 
article : 

"We have stoned theology and the theologues, 
though we may never have studied the one, nor 
read the life of the other. It requires little learn- 
ing and less grace to throw stones; and if we 
cannot, as in the battle of the gods, tear up the 
mountains by their roots and hurl them at our 
foes, we can fling dornecs and pebbles with the 
skill of a Benjamite."^ 
Beyond all doubt, Campbell did a great service to 
Christianity and humanity by insisting upon "pur- 
ity of speech" in preaching and teaching in New 

5M. H. Vol. XXXIX, pp. 135-144; McGaivev, pp. 213- 
219; Hayden's reply, pp. 327-334; Grubbs, 317-321, 455- 
459; Hayden's reply, pp. 409-412, 548-557. Finally and 
delightfully, J. S. Lamar, pp. 557-564. 

6 ibid, p. 138. 


Testament words. He wanted to clarify the issue 
that rival theologies had beclouded through cen- 
turies of metaphysical conflict. He wanted to reach 
simple people with gospel preaching they could un- 
derstand. He wanted to present to a divided Chris- 
tendom a basis of union reduced to the fundamentals 
of New Testament requirement. In all that he suc- 
ceeded marvelously. But it was altogether impos- 
sible for him to discuss the profound teaching of the 
New Testament without entering the field of the 
philosophy of religion. 

Take, for example, his efforts to explain the mean- 
ing of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in 
non-trinitarian, non-unitarian language. He took 
refuge in the Prologue to the Gospel of John. Its 
words are most simple; its ideas most profound. It 
is as far removed from the teaching of the Synop- 
tic Gospels as the Athanasian Creed is from Paul's 
letters. Campbell here made no use, and showed 
no knowledge of the Logos doctrine that had devel- 
oped from Heraclitus, through Plato, the Stoics, and 
Philo, to John. But he was dealing with Greek 
philosophy in its most metaphysical aspect. His ar- 
gument about the relation of words to ideas, and 
of God to the Logos is not convincing.'^ In using 
terms of Greek philosophy as applied to Jesus of 
Nazareth, John and Paul, and the Nicene Fathers, 
he endeavored to make a profoundly speculative 
matter understood. The language, in each case, was 
dictated by ideas held at the times, as the writers 
tried to get across to the people of their respective 
days the conception of the relation of Jesus to God. 

Several examples of rather remarkable and even 
ludicrous errors into which lack of knowledge of 
the meaning of theological terms, and an effort to 
conform to the demands of a theological dogma led, 
can best be given in the third part of this discus- 

1 Christian Baptist, pp. 333; Christian System, pp. 19-25, 


For the present, the point of what has been writ- 
ten should be plain, namely, that no people can 
strip themselves bare of philosophy, or metaphysics, 
and yet explain to intelligent friends or foes 
Christianity as a rational religion. And, further, it 
is just as incumbent upon them to make the matter 
clear, in terms understandable by the inquirers of 
this day, as it was for the author of the Fourth Gos- 
pel, or the divines of the early fourth century to 
make things comprehensible to their generations. 
Hence the importance of teaching ministerial stu- 
dents a knowledge of theology, or the philosophy of 
religion, or whatever it is thought best to call it. At 
the same time they should be taught that the Camp- 
bellian "purity of speech" is what is needed for 
preaching, and for stating the irreducible minimum 
of the basis for Christian union. 

(To be concluded in the March Scroll. 

The Road Ahead 


IRVIN Lunger 

I made my acquaintance with the old National 
Turnpike some fifteen years ago. I used to turn 
west upon it at Wheeling, West Virginia, and con- 
tinue on it to Morristown, Ohio — the little town in 
which was located the small church to which I min- 
istered during my college days. 

At first the old turnpike was just one more road 
to be travelled. However, as I followed its winding 
course week after week, as I became familiar with 
its amazing curves and unpredictable hills, my in- 
difference slowly disappeared. I found that I liked 
the friendly highway. 

From folks who lived near it, I learned much of 
its history. Revealing their own affection for it as 
they talked, they told how it had once been no more 

* Sermon delivered in the University Church of Disciples 
of Christ, Chicago, Illinois, January 2, 1944. 


than an uncertain trail along which early settlers 
had moved on their way to the unexplored west. 
They pictured, too, the heavy and lumbering stage 
coaches which clattered by years later. And they 
pointed out the wayside inns which had appeared 
to care for the travellers of long ago. Grey with 
age, many of these inns still served the old road. 

I I learned, as well, of the changes which had come 
with the years. As traffic had increased, the old 
road had changed. Many of its more picturesque 
and dangerous curves had been eliminated. Narrow 
places had been widened to permit two-way traffic. 
Finally, a brick surface had been placed on the old 
turnpike to facilitate year 'round travel. 

When first I travelled the old road, it was groan- 

I ing under the burden of heavy high-speed traffic. 

\ The engineers who had improved it from time to 

! time had had no comprehension of the scope of the 
revolution which the automobile was precipitating. 
They struggled to meet the ever increasing demands 
of modern traffic — and failed. They had eliminated 
many bad curves, but all too many still remained 
and high-speed traffic was accentuating each and 
every one. 

The road still wound its way among unending 
hills. It still had its strange "S" bridge which an 
impatient contractor had built to force traffic to 
slow down. It still had its amazing "Y" bridge 
which divided traffic mid-stream. And it abounded 
with signs warning of sharp curves, steep hills, dan- 
gerous cross-roads and narrow bridges. Here the 
motorist was cautioned to go into low gear. There 
he was warned to sound his horn. And here and 
there he saw signs telling him that during certain 
seasons when the streams overflowed their banks 
the road would be covered. 

I knew that, even though I loved the old National 
Turnpike as it was, it would have to be changed — 

1 radically. Too many accidents were happening. Too 


many lives were being lost because motorists failed 
to heed the innumerable warnings. 

One day I saw men busily engaged surveying the 
old road. I noticed that some were at work far from 
the highway. Thus was confirmation given the 
rumor that the state was going to build a new road. 
According to the word which passed from mouth to 
mouth, this was not to be simply an improved road 
— it was to be a new one. 

Several years later I drove over the National 
Turnpike again. It was indeed a new road. As I 
sped along, I looked for the old landmarks. Many 
were gone. A few could still be seen but most of 
them were far from the road. Even as I felt a pang 
of regret that the familiar milestones had disap- 
peared and the whole friendly scene had changed, 
I felt a thrill as I looked upon the broad new high- 
way stretching miles ahead. 

Where the old road had wound among the hills, 
the new one cut directly through these rugged ob- 
stacles. Where the old road had twisted and turned 
to escape a deep ravine, the new one swept on un- 
mindful of rough terrain. It was unmistakable 
that the course of the new road was determined by 
its destination. The protests of hills and valleys had 
been in vain. 

The National Turnpike was a new highway. It 
gave one the assurance that it knew its destination 
and was headed straight toward it. No small town 
threw up its hand to stop you as you drove along. 
The new road seemed to have little regard for small 
towns and small ways. Its single concern seemed 
to be that of hastening your safe arrival at some 
big and important city far ahead. 

The old National Turnpike had rested serene in 
memories of the past. It had appeared apologetio 
about its inability to cope with modern traffic. The 
new highway, however, seemed unconcerned with' 
the past. Its interest was with the present and the 
future. Its youthful urgency, its bold assurance and 


its eager expectancy were contagious. You could 
not escape them. Here was a proud, new highway ! 

I tell you the story of the National Turnpike be- 
cause it is rich in suggestion for us as we enter the 
new year. The coming of a new year does not rad- 
ically change our lives. It does, however, provide 
an appropriate occasion for reflection. The journey 
in which we were engrossed last year continues 
into the new year. The milestone we pass invites 
us to consider the road we are travelling. 

The road we have been travelling is an old and 
familiar one. Like the old National Turnpike, it 
follows time-worn paths. Self-interest and all too 
much social irresponsibility blazed a trail through 
the wilderness — a trail which the traffic of many 
generations has made into a highway. 

The old road has been improved from time to 
time. Yet it still detours so as to avoid rough places. 
It still skirts the deep ravines and winds cautiously 
among the hills. It still has many dangerous turns. 
And countless warnings are posted along the way. 

Following the old road this past year, we had 
several bad moments. A race riot in Detroit struck 
fear to our hearts. For a time we thought that the 
hills of social discrimination and racial intolerance 
which we had so cautiously skirted had buried our 
road under a landslide. More than once we fearfully 
made our way across narrow and uncertain bridges 
beneath which swollen streams of anti-semitism 
swept sullenly along. We speculated uneasily as to 
the strength of the current and the ability of the 
bridges to withstand the angry waters. Often, too, 
the clouds of war made it difficult for us to read the 
warning signs posted along the way and we trav- 
elled in constant fear of disaster. These experi- 
ences left us shaken. We vowed that improvements 
would have to be made — the road had become too 

The old road has become too dangerous ! No road 
is safe over which great cliffs of intolerance and 


injustice tower. A highway paved with selfishness 
and suspicion is dangerous at every turn. 

Just because the old road served our generation 
and many before it, just because some improve- 
ments have made several portions of it less danger- 
ous, just because we have come to love its land- 
marks, just because we have not broken our necks 
while travelling on it is not reason for continuing 
on it indefinitely ! 

Even as we thank God that we have reached this 
another milestone safely, let us take care that we 
do not resign ourselves to another year of travel on 
the old road. We may not be so fortunate in the 
new year as we have been in the past. 

The road which old fears and prejudices and self- 
ishness developed from a trail to a dangerous high- 
way will no more suffice in the new year than the 
old National Turnpike could in a modern high- 
speed era. 

It is hard to condemn an old, familiar road. Yet 
any road which has proved as dangerous to human- 
ity as the one upon which we have been travelling 
must be condemned. If we fail to condemn and 
abandon it, our children may follow it to their doom. 
Unless we abandon the old road, it will lead to 
future wars and strife just as surely as it has led 
to wars and strife in the past. 

Ohio's highway engineers realized that the old 
National Turnpike was inadequate and dangerous. 
They knew a new road would have to be built. Care- 
fully they determined where and how it should be 
constructed. Then they acquired the land which 
the new road would require. They resisted pressure 
groups which wanted the road to serve private and 
selfish ends. They persevered and succeeded in 
building a broad, new highway. 

We must do as much. The old road upon which 
we have been travelling cannot be satisfactorily 
repaired or patched. A new road must be built. 


Already wise and good men are surveying the course 
of the new road. They have agreed upon the desti- 
nation and they know the starting point. This new 
highway will lead to the city of peace and brotherly 
ways. It will begin with the present day where the 
old road ends. 

Let us take our place with the builders of this 
new and better highway. The road ahead must not 
be a further extension of the old road. It must be 
a new road — "a highway for our God." 

The road toward a brighter future cannot wind 
cautiously among towering hills of intolerance and 
selfishness. It must cut a straight course through 
them. Ravines of prejudice and injustice must be 
filled or bridged. Ridges of misunderstanding and 
fear and suspicion must be levelled. The new high- 
way must sweep straight toward its destination. 

It cannot be a narrow road. It must be broad 
enough for men of differing races and creeds and 
nations to move shoulder to shoulder as they journey 
along. A wide highway one mile in length holds 
more promise for humanity than a narrow road a 
hundred miles long. 

Have a care lest you romanticise the old road! 
Look at it with a clear eye. See its rough and dan- 
gerous ways. Confess its failures and hazards. Not 
until you do this will the compulsion to build a new 
and better road become irresistible. No new road 
will be built until men in increasing number confess 
that the old road is inadequate and dangerous and 
direct their energy and imagination to the task 
ahead. Patience and wisdom and courage are called 
for. 'They are a small price to pay for so glorious 
and promising a highway. 

This is a day of new roads. In Ohio a great new 
highway sweeps majestically across the hilly coun- 
tryside. In Pennsylvania a broad super-highway 
stretches across mountainous terrain. Lest you 
think roadbuilding has ceased because a war has 
taken priority on our energies, remember the new 

178 THE SCrtOLL 

Alaskan highway pushing through the great north- 
west and reflect upon the thousands of lesser roads 
being built through jungles and across swamps to 
hasten the day of victory. 

These are symbols of man's deep desire to build 
highways to destinations which he has chosen. May 
they be an inspiration to us to build a super-highway 
for humanity — a broad new road along which men 
and nations may hasten toward the city of peace. 
May the new year find us busily building this much- 
needed highway — a highway for our God, for our 
world, for our nation, for ourselves. 

The new road must be built! If we do not begin 
building it now, who will? 

A Piercing Criticism 

Private Correspondence 

In reply to your letter of recent date, in which 
you express surprise that I had removed my mem- 
bership from the Christian Church where it had 
been since my childhood, I wish to say that my with- 
drawal from the Christian Church has been the 
result of reasoned and deliberated convictions which 
have ripened: during many years of intimate con- 
tact with the leadership and the institutions of that 
religious communion. 

The loyalties which have bound me through the 
years to the church of my childhood have centered 
around four basic ideals which have stood out prom- 
inently in the literature and the teachings of the 
Christian Church, as follows: 1, Christian Union. 
2, The emphasis of religion in education. 3, The 
central place of Christ in the teaching of the church. 
4, The pleas for Christ-like living, "rising to walk 
in the newness of life," in the footsteps of the 

These four emphases on Christian Union, Chris- 


tion Education, Christian Theism, and Christian 
Ethics have been basic in my own life since child- 
hood, and I have been naturally attracted to the 
religious communion which emphasized these cen- 
tral truths. 

For years I have been grieved that, while accept- 
ing in theory, the Christian Church has failed 
lamentably to exemplify its teachings in practice. 
Note the actual practice of the Christian Church 
in the religious world today on its boasted positions. 

1. Christian Union : I know of no religious group 
which is more non-cooperative and more bitterly 
sectarian in spirit and practice. In the field of re- 
ligious education since 1918, its official leaders have 
bitterly fought all efforts to organize cooperative 
activities on a non-sectarian basis. Dr. Peter Ains- 
lie, a great Christian saint, was crucified by his 
church because he believed in Christian Union. 

2. Religion in Education: While boasting of the 
place of the Bible in education, the institutions of 
this religious group have almost without exception 
failed to recognize the Bible and religion as worthy 
of academic credit. In practice they believe that an 
education may be complete which ignores the place 
of religion and spiritual ideals in the curricula. A 
college may be fully approved by the churches of 
the Disciples of Christ which refuses flatly to rec- 
ognize religion in education! 

3. In theology, this church has departed from 
Christian Theism. One wing of the church repre- 
sents a literalism which lands its membership in 
obscurantism, while another wing has become 
mechanistic and naturalistic in its emphasis, and 
there is no recognition for personalistic idealism 
which makes personality the ultimate fact in the 
universe. The religious body as a group accepts a 
metaphysics which does not sustain a personal God ; 
its spiritual power has all but disappeared in the 
recent years. 


4. Christian Ethics: My own observations have 
convinced me that the leadership of this religious 
communion is characterized by moral cowardice. 
Confronted with evidence of dishonesty, injustice, 
questionable moral practices, etc., I have seen its 
outstanding leaders condone and approve evil when 
practiced by persons of wealth and political power. 
I am convinced that the leadership of this church 
is so insensitive to corruption and gross wickedness 
that it cannot be trusted to lead a crusade for moral 
righteousness in the world. 

Because I believe in Christian Union ; the empha- 
sis on religion in education; the philosophy of per- 
sonalistic idealism which sustains the concept of a 
personal God; and the necessity of moral courage 
in fighting unrighteousness, and because the Chris- 
tian Church fails to measure up to my ideals in these 
four fields, I have been unable consistently to con- 
tinue my relations with this body. I see no dynamic 
future for myself with a religious group which will 
not enable me to render a larger service for Christi- 
anity than would be possible should I remain with 
a Church with whose actual practices I am now, 
and have been for years, out of sympathy. 

In these statements, I do not charge all the mem- 
bers of the Christian churches of failing to measure 
up to their teachings. I know many who are worthy 
of highest praise ; but it is my belief that this reli- 
gious group, as a whole, has a leadership which is 
rendering it unfruitful as an agency for Christian- 
izing the world of our generation. 

Moreover, should the foregoing strictures on the 
present leadership of the Christian Church have 
been less serious, I believe it might be possible and 
permissible for Christians to pass from one com- 
munity of Christians to another where their serv- 
ices could be used to advantage, without criticism 
or odium of any kind. 

I am perfectly willing for the foregoing statement 
to be made in confidence to friends who are inter- 


ested in my change in church relationship ; but I do 
not wish general or promiscuous publicity to be 
given to it. 

There are those of my friends who believe, as I 
used to believe, that the evils pointed out in this 
letter may be, with patience, corrected within this 
communion, and, in time a distinctly valuable con- 
tribution be made to the Christian world by the 
Disciples of Christ. To all such, I give my best 
wishes. As for me, it is clear, that the great goals 
of the Christian life may be more satisfactorily 
reached by joining with other Christian forces. 

"The Tale of Two Cities" 

Waymon Parsons, Sharon, Pennsylvania 
Last Summer I had a disturbing experience. On 
the heels of attending the Union Seminary Pastors' 
Conference in New York City, I attended the Camp- 
bell Institute meetings in Chicago. The offensive 
neo-orthodoxy in the one place and the defensive 
liberalism in the other left me puzzled as to the 
exact status of my nature. I came away from Union 
certain that I was a worm. I left Chicago certain 
that I was an angel. All winter I have been trying 
to determine which voice to heed. Off and on I have 
been a worm and an angel. But the double life has 
been disconcerting. Now, I have come to a conclu- 
sion. I don't really believe that I am either; close 
observation convinces me that I am a little of both. 
The terrible corollary to this conclusion is that nei- 
ther Dr. Niebuhr nor Dr. Ames is right. Both are 
wrong. Each gave me a one-sided diagnosis. 

Between the Extremes 

Sharon, Pennsylvania, the place of my present 
ministerial labors, is just about half-way between 
New York and Chicago. This geographical position 


just about symbolizes my present theological posi- 
tion. Isn't there ground for a position somewhere 
between the groveling-in-the-dust attitude of the 
one and the smug satisfaction of the other, between 
the creature-despisal (misanthropy) of the one and 
the creature-worship (hubris) of the other, be- 
tween the one's belief in total depravity and the 
other's assurance of automatic sainthood, between 
the overly-pessimistic neo-orthodoxy of the one and 
the overly-optimistic non-orthodoxy of the other? 

Dr. Ames, in his answers to neo-orthodoxy, as 
found on p. 72 of the Nov. SCROLL, suggests that we 
proclaim a better way. He calls it a "non-theological 
Christian faith." Does the phrase contain a contra- 
diction? We can see how one could have a non- 
theological faith, but hardly how one can have a non- 
theological "Christian" faith. But granting that this 
apparent contradiction hinges on the definitions of 
"theological" and "Christian," the point is that the 
"more excellent way" that Dr. Ames would substi- 
tute for neo-orthodoxy goes to the extreme in the 
other direction, with the same results that he 
eschews in the former. 

He cites the neo-orthodox dogma of the inherent 
sinfulness of man as promoting distrust between 
people and being a hindrance to Christian fellow- 
ship. For those who hold to this doctrine in its 
worst form, this is probably true, though its actual 
evidence does not seem to be widespread among the 
followers of neo-orthodoxy. But Dr. Ames' view, 
which tends to minimize if not entirely disregard 
the fact of sin, allows man to assume a sainthood 
that will at once be suspected by his fellows, if not 
by himself, and cause the same distrust and hin- 
drance to hearty cooperation that Dr. Ames sees in 
the neo-orthodox dogma. The man in the street finds 
it equally difficult to trust and have normal rela- 
tionship with men who think of themselves as either 
devils or saints. 


No Need to Deceive Ourselves 

One is led to feel that both views are unreal, Man 
is neither a devil nor a saint. Phillips Brooks was 
nearer the truth when he said that, "Man is not a 
child of the devil whom God is trying to steal, but 
a son of God on whom the devil has laid his hands." 
Dr. Ames not only denies the first, but seems unwill- 
ing to recognize the latter. 

But why should Dr. Ames' distaste for any dis- 
cussion about sin, echoed in Dr. Blakemore's con- 
tribution in the same Nov, issue (p. 91) cause him 
to replace the "deep-seated pessimism" of neo-or- 
thodoxy with the too-shallow optimism of his own 
position! While most people in our churches will 
deplore the assertion that they are worms and 
snakes, neither will discerning and sensitive people 
welcome the serious suggestion that they are wholly 
filled with sweetness and light. Every honest pastor 
and his congregation can sincerely say together, 
"We have done those things which we ought not to 
have done, and left undone those things which we 
ought to have done." And we ought to say it. But 
there is no need to go on to the untrue and therefore 
insincere phrase, "and there is no health in us." 
Because of our recognition of what Dr. M. L. Lich- 
liter has called "the residual goodness of human 
nature," we find it impossible to say with Isaiah, 
"All our righteousness is as filthy rags," but we 
should not try to fool ourselves by saying that all 
our filthy rags are to be accounted as righteousness. 
The truth seems to have been well stated by Tenny- 
son when he made King Arthur say to the Knights 
of the Round Table: 

"For good ye are and bad, and like to coins. 
Some true, some light, but everyone of you 
Stamped with the image of the King." 

Man may reasonably resent a doctrine of total 
depravity or original sin, but it is not well for him 


to go so far in his reaction as to claim sinlessness 
for himself, to see no need for repentance, and to 
exclude himself as a seeker after salvation. A 
healthy recognition of one's sins need not cause one 
to become "infected with self-distrust and fear of 
failure." As Professor William E. Hocking has sug- 
gested, "The sense of inadequacy is the sign of the 
working in man of a better vision of the truth." Or, 
as Thomas Hardy once put it, "if way to the better 
there be, it exacts a full view of the worst." Some 
may have difficulty realizing themselves to be sin- 
ners. But the best way to handle such self-deception 
is for us to confront the Christ. In his presence 
where we see life as it was meant to be, all of us can 
realize how far we have missed the mark. 

Kathleen W. MacArthur has recently stated this 
need for man to face his true condition with hon- 
esty and common-sense, and so escape the futility 
of either extreme, in the following paragraph from 
her booklet, "Outline Of a Working Faith." 

"It seems natural to people to swing from one ex- 
treme to the other in their thoughts and feelings 
. . . An illustration of this tendency is our idea of 
the nature and possibilities of man. At one time 
we are over-optimistic, believing that man's 
knowledge and skill are sufficient for anything 
and his whole salvation rests in developing his 
great possibilities. When the stern logic of events 
upsets this idea, we are easily led to the other 
extreme — man is helpless, his struggle is futile, 
he can do nothing of lasting significance in regard 
to his own destiny. Neither of these extremes has 
ever proved really helpful to man in his search for 
guidance, yet, especially in times of crisis, we 
tend to yield to these counsels of despair. Thus, 
at the moment when we most need a sober and 
modest estimate of ourselves, we tend to become 
arrogant in our own power; and at the moment 
we most need courage and confidence, we surren- 
der our faith in man's potentialities." 


Effect on Preaching 

Another factor that makes one discontented, both 
with neo-orthodoxy and Dr. Ames' non-orthodoxy, 
is that preaching seems to be vitiated by either. One 
makes the listeners feel hopeless and helpless. The 
other makes them feel complacent, self-righteous, 
and without need of God's grace. Dr. Blakemore, 
in submitting to the Scroll some lines of Alexander 
Campbell on "Sin," regretted the three-fold influ- 
ence that neo-orthodoxy has had on present-day re- 
ligion. "It has become serious; it has adopted a 
motif of repentance, and talks a great deal about 
the moral law." Shades of the prophets! Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Jesus to the con- 
trary. Dr. Blakemore regrets the presence of such 
characteristics in present-day religion. He may well 
be opposed to making sin the dominating concept of 
Christianity, but we can welcome enough stress on 
it to produce these results. Too little preaching has 
been that effective! Without these three items, the 
message of the church is hardly adequate to the des- 
perate needs of modern society. Many of us agree 
with Paul Hutchinson's assertion in his book, "From 
Victory to Peace," that "Perhaps the healthiest 
thing which has happened within the Christian 
church has been the renewed assertion of the reality 
and authority of the moral law." 

The effort of some today to avoid such serious 
topics as repentance and moral law reminds me of 
the following description of a certain man's preach- 
ing as given by L. J. Sharp of Cleveland : "My dear 
friends, you must repent — as it were; and be con- 
verted — in a measure; or you will be damned — to a 
certain extent." 

Not Yet Emancipated 

Perhaps these few observations on the inadequacy 
of the two extreme positions leaves me occupying 
too pat a position. Very likely. There is often weak- 
ness in any middle position, a weakness that is 


despised by the advocates of both extremes. Cer- 
tainly neo-orthodoxy would judge me still tainted 
with liberalism. Dr. Ames will surely say that I am 
not yet completely "emancipated." Union and Chi- 
cago men will both agree that this is what one gets 
by going to Yale. But is there not some Campbell 
Instituter who will agree that truth is sometimes 
found between two extremes? 

Christ: A Word or The Word? 

A Reply to Mr. Finnegan 

Myron Taggart Hopper, The College of the Bible, 
Lexington, Ky. 

Stimulated by the Christian Standard's reference 
to my remarks at the annual meeting of the Camp- 
bell Institute, as quoted by my good friend. Jack 
Finnegan, in the November issue of The Scroll, I 
have finally looked into that issue. Having looked 
into it and read what Mr. Finnegan had to say, I 
am moved to write something in reply, and, since 
the discussion centering in the use of the term 
Christ seems to have disturbed Mr. Finnegan most, 
I will begin there. 

It would seem that the difficulty at this point lies 
in the failure to distinguish between a discussion in 
the field of semantics and one in theology. If this 
had been done, then Mr, Finnegan would never have 
seen, in the words which he quotes me as having 
said, the implications which he sees. As I recall the 
discussion (and I must confess that my recollection 
of the details of it are quite hazy) I had made the 
assertion that the word "Christ" had functioned in 
the Christian movement as a carrier for, and symbol 
of, those things judged to be most worthful by 
followers of Christ; in other words a symbol for 
highest values and ideals. That it has functioned 
thus seems to me to be a statement of fact. Whether 


it should have been so used, and whether it is the 
only way in which it has been used, are other mat- 
ters. Personally, I am inclined to think we would do 
well to stay as close as possible to the historical 
Jesus, who incidentally, is just as concrete and iden- 
tifiable a figure in history for me as he is for Mr. 
Finnegan. Furthermore, I am personally convinced 
that the use made of Christ suggested above is not 
the only use made of him. 

The discussion reviewed above precipitated Mr. 
Finnegan's question with respect to the justifica- 
tion for designating the sum total of man's highest 
ideals by the term "Christ." This question resulted 
in my saying something like that which Mr. Finne- 
gan quotes me as having said. Frankly, I do not 
recall having made a statement just like the one 
attributed to me. Furthermore, I cannot imagine 
myself having made it unless I felt that what had 
been said before made it clear that I was talking 
about the word "Christ" and not Jesus Christ,^ an 
historical person. 

In attempting to answer Mr. Finnegan's question 
I can well imagine myself saying that a justification 
for using the term "Christ" as a symbol for the sum 
total of man's highest ideals was to be found in the 
simple fact that the word in question conveyed, or 
could be made to convey, that meaning to people. 
A spoken word is a combination of sounds which 
convey meaning. A written word is a symbol on 
paper representing a spoken word. A word is justi- 
fiably used when it conveys the meaning which the 
user wishes to convey to the hearers. Furthermore, 
it is justifiably used if the essential meaning is the 
same for the person who speaks it and the ones who 
hear it even though all details of meaning do not 
coincide. If this is not justifiable then speech is not 

1 I use the words "Jesus Christ" reluctantly, and only be- 
cause Mr. Finnegan used them. I prefer "Jesus, the Christ." 
"Christ" is not the surname of Jesus but a title, or the name 
of an office. 


justifiable when two persons have precisely the same 
meaning for any word. What man would dare utter 
the word "God" if he felt he had to wait until his 
hearers agreed completely with what he meant when 
he spoke the word? It is justifiable, also, to rede- 
fine words — to expand and clarify their meaning. 
Language is not a static thing and words are not 
sound symbols once and for all delivered to the 

With the above in mind the question as to the 
justifiability of the use of the word "Christ" to des- 
ignate the sum total of man's highest ideals, by 
those who believe it to convey that meaning and to 
stand for those ideals, needs little argument. At 
this point it may be well for me to say that I do 
not so use the term. Be that as it may, I feel that 
such a use, by those who believe it to stand for and 
convey such meanings, is entirely justifiable. Fur- 
thermore, it is entirely justifiable for those who 
believe the term ought to convey such meaning if 
they make clear the sense in which they are using 
it. Who would say that Jesus should not have spoken 
of "the Kingdom of God" because his hearers did not 
have the same concept of it that He held. 

Mr. Finnegan, in his article, asks why the word 
"Christ" should be used and not some other word. 
In terms of what has been said above this should 
be obvious. I would not want to say that "Christ" 
should be used. I can easily see why it would be, 
however, for, as Mr.Finnegan says, "Christ is sym- 
bolic of humanity's highest ideals." Some other 
word might be chosen — even "abblanatanalba" — if 
it conveys the desired meaning to those who hear 
it, and, unless we are confusing word symbols with 
the reality for which they stand, we should not hesi- 
tate to use another term if it would more adequately 
convey the desired meaning. This shifting of word 
symbols is not as heretical as it might sound for 
"that early Christian philosopher whose writings 


are known under the name of John" made such a 
shift in word symbols in the very passage to which 
Mr. Finnegan refers at the close of his article. He 
opened his gospel by writing of Jesus as the Logos 
(the Word,) rather than as the Messiah; 

Now, lest I be misunderstood again, let me say 
that what I have written about the use of words is 
a matter of philology and semantics — not theology. 
Let me say also, that, in suggesting that Jesus has 
been used by Christians as a carrier (symbol) for 
their highest values and ideals, I have attempted to 
be descriptive and not evaluative. I have not at- 
tempted to either justify or condemn such a use of 

In a subsequent issue of The Scroll, if the ed- 
itor will be kind enough to give space to what I 
write, I want to comment on some of the things Mr. 
Finnegan wrote about Religious Education. The 
temptation to deal with them in this article is great, 
but I am hesitant to suggest the allocation of the 
space that would be required to do so and do what 
has been done above, also. Since Mr. Finnegan 
seemed, in his article, to be most concerned as to 
how the wo7^d symbol "Christ" could be similar to 
the ivord symbol "chair," and as to what justifica- 
tion there could be for using that tvord symbol 
(Christ), which he says in his article "is-symbolic 
of humanity's highest ideals," as a symbol for those 
ideals, I have dealt with them first. 

2 Italics are my own and are not in the statement quoted. 


The following letter from the depressed Treasurer 
ought to result in poetry, penance, pity and pay- 
ments ! "I beg to report that the usual lean financial 
season around Christmas time has arrived and re- 
mains with us — resulting in no notes, quips, or 
verse, upon which to comment. So, I have no page 
for February." 


A Statement of Belief* 

By Ashley S. Johnson 

"That the Bible is the inspired word of God from 
cover to cover; that the prophets of old spoke as 
they vi^ere moved by the Holy Spirit; that Jesus 
Christ was born of the virg-in, Mary, without the 
interposition of an earthly father; that He is the 
Son of God in the all inclusive and all exclusive sense 
and that therefore He can do everything; that He 
died on the Cross for the remission of our sins ; that 
He arose from the dead on the third day, in the 
body in which he was buried, for our justification; 
that He sits at the Father's right hand in glory, 
making intercession for the saints according to the 
will of God; that He is the supreme dictator of life 
and death; that His terms of salvation inspired by 
the Holy Spirit were proclaimed by the Apostles 
and put on record in the book of Acts; that the 
Church of the living God was built upon the founda- 
tion of the apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Him- 
self being the chief cornerstone ; that outside of His 
Church there is no promise of present or eternal 
salvation — ^the terms of salvation and church mem- 
bership being one and the same; that God through 
Jesus Christ still answers prayer; that Jesus Christ 
will come again in glory at the end of the world, at 
which time there will be a resurrection of the dead, 
both of the just and the unjust; and that God will 
judge every man from Adam down to the last man 
who draws mortal breath, according to his works, 
and according to the laws laid down in the Holy 
Scriptures, both Old and New, and reward every one 
eternally according to his work." 

* To which all trustees, teachers and other servants of 
Johnson Bible College heartily subscribe. 


One Faith 

Walls made by creeds shall fall, 
One hearth of faith for all 
In Christ shall be. 
Man's ageless dream shall be 
Wrought by one company, 
Strong in their loyalty — 
Hearts bound, minds free. 

One mighty vast array. 
Close-knit shall win the day 
Though long the fight. 
Fellows of Christ ne'er yield 
'Till right has won the field, 
Love is their sword and shield 
And love is might. 

Rise then, all you who dare. 
Live as your Master's heir — 
Christ's cross is broad. 
One race we yet shall be. 
One faithful company 
Comrades in Christ, we'll be 
True sons of God. 

— Benjamin F. Burns. 

TUNES: New America 

Come, Thou Almighty King 

Written on the occasion of the service of inaugura- 
tion and dedication of the Federated Theological 
Faculty of the University of Chicago, October 25, 



The criticism of an anonymous correspondent 
should give every thoughtful Disciple a heavy jolt. 
When the actual state of the churches is compared 
with the great heritage, and the years of promise of 
this Movement, a poignant sadness fills the soul. We 
need a Call to Repentance for our lapse into static, 
fruitless, and embittered pettiness. The cake of cus- 
tom has hardened over the surface in many places 
and hides the deep springs from which refreshing 
streams might flow. 

Sermons in the Sancttmry is a volume of sermons 
by L. 0. Bricker, published by The Donaldson-Woods 
Company of Atlanta, Georgia. The book was com- 
piled by Robert W. Burns, so long associated with 
Dr. Bricker in the great Peachtree Christian Church, 
and now for several years the very successful bearer 
of the multiple tasks of that ministry. Dr. Bricker 
died in August, 1942. He was long a member of the 

Booklet About Disciples 

A thousand copies of the booklet, containing the 
San Jose Convention addresses by E. S. Ames, have 
been in so much demand that a second printing will 
be made. Several pastors have asked for copies for 
their official boards and for members of their 
churches. They will be available at cost at the rate 
of five dollars per hundred. They deal with the 
Growth, Heritage, and Timeliness of the Disciples. 
In the new edition there will be added from the 
January SCROLL the statement of the "fourteen 
points" which distinguish the Disciples, and which 
are unifying and not divisive. The booklet is a con- 
structive statement which is of interest to members 
and others and will help to strengthen and build the 
churches. Order from E. S. Ames, 5722 Kimbark, 
Chicago 37. 


Vol. XLI. MARCH, 1944 No. 7 

Robert E. Park, Sociologist 

Professor Park died in Nashville, February 7. 
Since his retirement from the University of Chicago 
he had spent most of each year at Fisk University 
where he carried on his studies and his stimulating, 
informal seminars. He has long been regarded as 
the world's greatest authority on the American 
Negro. He worked many years with Booker T. 
Washington at Tuskegee and traveled with him in 
Europe. Professor Park investigated race relations 
in Hawaii, China, Japan, India, South Africa, and 
Brazil. He studied American immigrants, and 
American cities. His introduction to Sociology (with 
E. W. Burgess) pioneered a new science, and he 
broke new ground in various published articles on 
human nature and human relations. 

When he first came to Chicago in 1914, he at once 
found his way into membership in the University 
Church, then meeting in the strange little building 
across the street from the imposing University struc- 
tures. The Church interested him deeply and he 
entered into all its life, though he had previously 
scarcely heard of the Disciples of Christ. He joined 
the Campbell Institute and was enthusiastic about 
the young men who came to the Disciples Divinity 
House to study for the ministry. They were to him 
an indication of the vitality and promise of the 
young, mid-western, religious movement to which 
they belonged. They had the tang of the soil and the 
freedom of the open spaces. Their sane and prac- 
tical faith, without creed or dogma but with fervor 
and intelligence, aroused his hope for democratic 
religion. At a dinner party one evening, when the 
conversation turned to religion, the hostess re- 
marked to him, with some accent of complacency, 


"I was once a member of the Christian Church, but 
I am an Episcopalian now." Professor Park, un- 
daunted, replied, "Now isn't that interesting? I was 
formerly an Episcopalian, and now I am a member 
of the Christian Church !" He was a great soul, a 
wise man, and a marvelous friend and companion. 
—E. S. A. 

Edwin Errett 

E. S. Ames 

On the day before last Christmas I called on Ed- 
win Errett in the office of the Christian Standard. 
He greeted me cordially and we talked about many 
things, including the sudden death of Will Irwin, 
little thinking that in so short a time Mr. Errett 
himself would be as suddenly taken. We did not 
talk of our differences. We already understood them 
well enough. Many times we had discussed them in 
meetings of the Commission for the Restudy of the 
Disciples of Christ. Often in those meetings he had 
agreed with the rest that we must hold to the auton- 
omy of the local congregation, and to the right of 
private interpretation of the scriptures, and to free- 
dom of opinion on theological questions. But he 
conscientiously held that it was impossible for a man 
to 'be loyal to Jesus Christ and practice open-mem- 
bership. Therefore, in his editorial writing at least, 
he felt himself compelled to insist that those who 
tolerated open-membership were disloyal to Christ 
and to the Disciple tradition. He wrote many bitter 
things in these attacks, but he never failed to show 
courtesy and even friendliness in our personal con- 
tacts. His capacity for fellowship was broader than 
his logic. 

There is reason to believe that Mr. Errett was not 
the most conservative of the conservatives, but it is 
doubtful whether the Standard Publishing Company 
can elect a successor to him who is more liberal than 
he was. It seems clear also that they cannot carry 


on effectively with a more conservative editor, at 
least not for long. Either course will inevitably con- 
tribute to a more progressive influence, for nothing 
is more certain in the present state of the world to 
make for liberalism than an extreme dogmatic lit- 
eralism. The Disciples have always wanted to think 
of themselves as keeping abreast of biblical scholar- 
ship, especially with that of New Testament schol- 
arship. But that scholarship, as found for example 
in the writings of Professor Scott (reviewed by 
Perry J. Rice in this Scroll) has changed the con- 
ception of the New Testament and of the early 
Church. It opens the way to fuller fellowship and 
to more effective union of Christians. 

The Drake Conference 

W. B. Blakemore, Jr. 

The conference at Drake was a success because 
it fulfilled for our people two hungers — one of the 
moment, the other of the years. 

The need of the moment was an opportunity to 
determine whether, as a group, Disciples of Christ 
were approaching the problems of our present world 
with similar attitudes and programs of work. Our 
discovery at Drake was that we are unified in our 
attack upon this major concern of our time to a 
remarkable degree. Much of the preliminary clari- 
fication of common ground was accomplished by the 
nine regional seminars which met prior to the Con- 
ference. Since the seminars were composed of men 
of different views, their "findings" were already 
composite statements revealing an accord that was 
echoed by the whole conference. 

For men of religious earnestness and zeal, the real 
problems of our present world cannot be laid aside. 
Hence the assembly at Drake began with a sense of 
devotion to a task. Those attending had already 
read widely upon the issues involved, but all of us 


needed the chance for intimate discussion and intel- 
lectual leadership by wise men to help us sift our 
ideas and give them some systematic formulation. 
That was what the Drake Conference accomplished. 
Consequently, the preaching and teaching of the men 
who were there will, in the months to come, be both 
clearer and stronger. And our individual congrega- 
tions will be strengthened through the post-Drake 
conferences which they will hold. 

There was another and more profound need which 
was answered at Drake — a need that has lain unful- 
filled for a long generation. It had been created by 
the unfortunate course of our recent history as a 
brotherhood. We have tended to become stirred up 
and perplexed by the problems of our organized life 
and to be frustrated by inner discords. For over a 
generation it has been impossible for Disciples of 
Christ to gather together and devote their whole 
attention to the real problems of our world without 
being distracted by minor concerns. The latter had 
often called out attitudes which we have felt were 
not expressive of our best selves. The Drake Confer- 
ence was so set up that we were able to move imme- 
diately, and without interruption, to the construc- 
tive discussion of a major issue. 

This was the first time in the life of the writer 
that such an event has occurred on a wide scale in 
our brotherhood. My generation has grown up hop- 
ing that such a thing could occur, but we were not 
sure that we had the right to suppose that it could. 
It is some kind of commentary on our brotherhood, 
and not too nice a one, that for those of us who are 
thirty years old, nothing like the Drake Conference 
ever happened before. 

We knew that such events had occurred in the 
past. We learned about them in courses on "The 
History of the Disciples." We heard about the "Mis- 
souri Lectureship" and the "Congresses." We knew 
that there had once been scholarly periodicals like 


The Disciple and The New Christian Qttarterly. But 
these were things of another day, and in all our lives 
there had been nothing like them. 

Sometimes we looked back at this past and hun- 
gered for a similar expression in our own day of an 
intellectual virility which we felt was still character- 
istic of our people. Yet in all those years there had 
been only one realistic basis of hope. The Campbell 
Institute, in its way, was doing on a smaller scale, 
and against odds, what we hoped might some day 
be possible for our people as a whole ; the opportu- 
nity for vital discussion on great issues. The dream 
was richly fulfilled at Des Moines. 

To say that the Drake Conference gave reality 
to a sense of dignity regarding our brotherhood 
which had only been an ideal is to state the situa- 
tion mildly. The Conference proved, at long last, 
that our brotherhood still has the intellectual vitality 
and the Christian spirit necessary^ to come together 
and think significantly about the real problems of 
our world. The accidents of history made the topic 
of our discussion the production of world-minded- 
ness. The specific subject was well handled, but it 
was the rallying point for something far more pro- 
found — the first expression in a generation of a 
virile and essentially unified "Disciple Mind." 

Edgar De Witt Jones' Sermons 

His eighth volume of sermons is entitled, A Man 
Stood Up to Preach. That is the title also of the first 
sermon in the volume, which was a memorial to an- 
other great preacher on Woodward Avenue in De- 
troit, Dr. Merton S. Rice of the Metropolitan Meth- 
odist Church. Titles are important and this one illus- 
trates the skill and finesse of Dr. Jones in finding 
appropriate words for his ideas. "The Light on the 
Lord's Face," and "Broken Earthenware" are other 
intriguing subjects. The sermons are biblical in that 
they open with texts and unfold rich meaning of the 


chosen words. The letter is aptly selected and the 
spirit overflows it with rich imagery, argument, and 
religious appeal. This book of sixteen sermons is 
selling by the thousands which is evidence of the 
rare quality of the mind and heart which produced 
it. There is a wide and deep religious interpreta- 
tion here which sets the author apart all by himself 
as a pulpiteer. Certainly in recent times no Disciple 
minister has published so many books of sermons 
and sold them. 

When the reader tries to estimate the power of 
these sermons he sees that they are genuinely reli- 
gious. But he notes also that they are wisely liberal 
in spirit, timely in their themes, and beautiful in 
their diction. There is a good spice of humor, and a 
subtle art of story-telling. Disturbing theological 
questions are faced in terms of sane common sense 
and everyday experience. When a preacher begins 
to talk about the "helplessness of God" or to raise 
the question as to whether God is a Dictator, or how 
we can hate our enemies and still love them, you 
must listen to him and consider carefully what he is 
saying. His "Personal Confession of Faith" takes on 
vital interest. Sometimes one wonders how he main- 
tains restraint and keeps his poise where other 
ministers would storm and thunder. But, after see- 
ing the tragic and the lovely things of life through 
the steady eyes of this great preacher, you feel re- 
assured about the power of the religion of Jesus 
Christ to reach the depths and the heights of life 
and to make our suffering world into a heavenly 
place. — E. S. A. 

The annual meeting of the Campbell Institute 
will be held in Chicago during the first week of next 
August. That will be the second week of the Pas- 
tors' Institute. A session or two will be given to 
the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 
Disciples Divinity House. All friends and former 
students of the House are urged to attend. 


A "Must" Book for Disciples 

The Varieties of New Testament Religion, 
by Ernest F. Scott 

Perry J. Rice, 2528 Ohio Ave., South Gate., Calif. 

In this book of 317 pages Dr. Scott has given to 
the world the ripe fruitage of years of careful, pa- 
tient, painstaking study of the several books includ- 
ed in the New Testament as we have it, and of the 
times and conditions out from which they came. The 
title is descriptive of the contents of the book. In 
the preface the author calls attention to the fact that 
"the New Testament has commonly been regarded 
as a uniform book, made up of a number of writings 
which are yet in full agreement." While recognizing 
an underlying unity in the midst of diversity he sets 
himself to the task of pointing out the varieties of 
reporting and interpreting the facts in the teach- 
ings and ministries of Christ and the resultant dif- 
ferences that appear in the New Testament. The 
writers were not philosophers who "start with a 
given conception and elucidate and enlarge it with 
the aid of other conceptions taken over from think- 
ers before them. They set out from religious facts. 
* * * On the other hand it is evident that the New 
Testament writers express their own passionate con- 
victions." None of them wrote with any expectation 
that what they wrote would ever form any part of a 
collection of writings. They had been profoundly 
impressed by the life of Christ and were chiefly 
interested in interpreting these facts to others. 

Under these circumstances it is not surprising, in- 
deed it is inevitable that differences should arise and 
that they should find expression in what they wrote. 
Dr. Scott says : "There never was a time when be- 
lievers were all agreed on their interpretations. The 
minds of men are different, and cannot but respond 
differently to the same impulse." He insists, how- 
ever, that differing as they did, and still do, with 


reference to these facts in the life and teaching of 
Christ they may all be right for the message of 
Christ is so many sided that it is impossible for any 
one to grasp it as a whole. Unity, therefore, cannot 
be "expressed in uniform intellectual propositions." 
If expressed at all it must be in loyalty to the one 
Lord. Upon the basis of such considerations Dr. 
Scott proceeds to examine separately the several 
writings which make up the New Testament to show 
the backgrounds out from which they came, the in- 
fluences that played upon the minds of the writers 
and the objectives they desired to reach. 

Beginning with the primitive teachings of which 
Peter was the chief exponent, he reviews in succes- 
sive chapters Hellenistic Christianity with its mys- 
tical emphasis; the religion of Paul in which the 
New Life as the result of faith in Christ is given 
great prominence ; the religion of Paul's rivals such 
as ApoUos; apocalyptic Christianity of which the 
Book of Revelation is an example ; moralistic Christi- 
anity as expressed in the pastoral epistles ; western 
Christianity as seen in the Hebrew epistle; the Jo- 
hannine teachings, and the rise of a common relig- 
ion. In every case he is careful to point out the val- 
ues in each of these interpretations of Christianity 
and to give them full credit for the contributions 
they made to the whole. The treatment in each case 
is so scholarly, so comprehensive and so suggestive 
that one hesitates to pass them by even in a brief 
review without further comment Suffice it to say 
that it provides an excellent introduction to the sev- 
eral books and an interpretation of their teachings. 

The book is one of peculiar interest and impor- 
tance to the Disciples of Christ in this particular 
period of their history. It both corroborates and 
modifies some of their basic principles. For instance, 
since there are varieties of religion in the New Tes- 
tament it becomes apparent that in interpreting 
any portion of it care should be taken to ascertain 
who is speaking, when and under what circum- 


stances he is speaking, who is addressed and for 
what purpose. It is only by such a procedure that 
one can arrive at an intelligent understanding of the 
teaching. Our fathers were pioneers in advocating 
such an approach to the Scriptures and it is heart- 
ening to have their method thus reaffirmed. 

Again Dr. Scott strongly endorses the position of 
our fathers with reference to creeds, insisting that 
Christianity is too many sided, too far reaching in 
its implications to be expressed in formal pronounce- 
ments. "It is impossible," he says, "to believe that 
there was ever an apostolic message in the sense 
that the approved apostolic teaching was set forth 
in definite formal words. * * * it becomes evident 
as we examine the Gospels that they represent dif- 
ferent conceptions of the work of Christ, suggesting 
that from the first the church was divided. If the 
disciples were thus unable to convince each other 
they could not have decided on a form of belief which 
should: be imposed on the whole church." Again he 
says : "The unity which runs through the New Tes- 
tament must not be sought in some formal creed to 
which all teachers were obliged to adhere. * * * if 
the church possessed any formal statement of its 
faith it was contained in the simple affirmation, 
'Jesus is Lord,' which occurs three times in Paul's 
epistles, and always in such a context as to show 
that it was the regular church confession. * * * But 
the confession, 'Jesus is Lord,' was not a creed, and 
to place it on such a footing is to obscure its whole 
character and purpose. It was not a statement of 
doctrine but an affirmation of loyalty." He also 
says: "It is noteworthy that the convert is not re- 
quired to say 'Jesus is Messiah! That would have 
been a statement of doctrine. It would have bound 
the person who uttered it to a particular interpreta- 
tion of the nature and work of Christ. But with a 
sure instinct the church avoided the sharp definition 
even of its primary belief." 


It is obvious that the conception of the early 
church which Dr. Scott sets forth in this book would 
modify the program of restoration. The church of 
the New Testament was a growing, developing in- 
stitution and was expressed in different ways. The 
assumption, therefore, that we shall find in the New 
Testament a perfect pattern for the church for all 
succeeding centuries is without foundation. The 
value of restoration is to be seen in the rediscovery 
of the principles and ideals of Christ rather than in 
set forms, doctrines, ceremonies or organizations. 

Regarding Christianity Dr. Scott says some very 
interesting things. "In the first age the church was 
divided, as it is now, and the New Testament is in 
great measure the record of its divisions, and with- 
out them would never have come into being. It does 
not speak for an ideal harmonious church, such as 
we dream of, but for a church that was constantly 
divided against itself, like that which we know." He 
seems to feel that there were certain advantages in 
division. Speaking of the efforts that were made in 
the late first century for unity he says: "In some 
respects the interests of Christian unity were better 
served by the earlier teachers who admitted all the 
contradictions of doctrine, than by this Evangelist 
(John) who sought to remove them." He speaks 
rather disparagingly of any formal future union, 
saying, "In the world-wide church of today no true 
unity is conceivable ; and this is no matter of regret. 
So long as men are moving forward to some ever 
larger goal, there will be divisions." It is evident 
that in this statement he is thinking of formal, 
organizational union for he plainly desires unity that 
admits of differences, which allows freedom for in- 
vestigation and the expression of opinion. He would 
have the church provide a universal fellowship based 
on brotherhood and love, and loyalty to the great 
ideals and purposes of Christ. 


Naked and Unashamed 

W. M. Forrest 

The failure to drill candidates for the ministry in 
theology and the history of dogma, or even to insist 
upon an education of any kind before men became 
preachers, in the second and third generation of our 
history was costly. Campbell could cry out, "Oh 
that a pure speech would speedily supplant the gib- 
berish and fallacious jargon of scholastic theology."^ 
But when his untrained young men went forth with 
"zeal not according to knowledge," he had other 
things to lament : 

"There are few amongst us that have yet the exact 
and perfect discrimination of what ought and 
what ought not to be said at the present time on 
some of those deep and delicate themes over which 
men of the greatest learning, piety, and candor, 
have deliberated for their whole three score years 
and ten without feeling themselves perfectly as- 
sured and infallible."^ 

"Alas for all that are found keeping up the old 
landmarks of strife, or laying the foundation for 
new rivalries, partialities and antipathies, to arise 
and pollute many, to retard the progress of the 
gospel abroad, and to foster the spirit of infidel- 
ity at home !"' 

When thinking of the crudities and mistakes of 
many young men of his fellowship, he wrote in his 
Preface for 1850 : 

"I do not think it is either safe or expedient to 
trust the development or advocacy of the great 
cause of Reformation to raw and undisciplined 
minds, either as public speakers or writers. , . . 
It is as revolting to reason as to good taste, to 
change the order of nature, by setting the young 

1 Mille7iial Harbinger, Series III, Vol. VII, p. 513. 

2 Ibid, Vol. Ill, pp. 328, 329. 

3 Chnstian System, p. 102, 


and uneducated to teach and rule over the more 
aged: and experienced members of any commu- 

As for the young men who took the places of their 
founding fathers and through native ability or edu- 
cation were the new leaders, they found it increas- 
ingly difficult to remain naked and unashamed. 
Crudities of pioneer days and frontier conditions 
were softened. General education and advancing 
science ushered in a new age. Contacts with reli- 
gious neighbors became more frequent. Calls for 
cooperation in enterprises too big for any one re- 
ligious body grew insistent. Fellowship with the 
cultured ministry of other churches put to shame our 
preachers who had themselves ceased to be Ishmael- 
ites, and who suffered when among their fellows 
whose ignorance was matched only by their blatancy. 
A decent respect for the opinions of mankind neces- 
sitated some degree of conformity to the speech and 
manners of the society of which all were members. 
But when nakedness of either body or mind be- 
comes aware of itself, it grows ashamed. When it 
tries concealment behind a discreetly placed hand, 
or reaches for a bunch of fig leaves, its days of inno- 
cence or of unconsciousness are ended. Even when 
it is robed scantily in a sheepskin, it is not very 
seemly. And when its primitive Eden is exchanged 
for lands of icy blasts, it becomes terribly uncom- 
fortable. So when the Disciples passed through ex- 
periences akin to all this, they had to pay the pen- 
alties of nonconformity, and of arrested develop- 
ment. What befell them because of steadfast ad- 
herence to enduring principles, did not cost too 
much, and did their souls good. But sometimes their 
hasty and confused efforts to hide their nakedness 
made them ridiculous. 

For instance, any reasonable understanding of 
their own motto, "In faith unity, in opinions lib- 

Tm. H., Series III, Vol. IV, p. 6. 


erty, in all things charity," should have saved them 
from incurable disruption over opinions about 
organs in churches, and missionary societies as agen- 
cies of evangelism. And also the extraordinary 
prescience of Campbell in anticipating the work of 
Higher Criticism applied to the Bible, as well as his 
challenge of all the dogmas of the creeds, should 
have enabled his followers to refuse to cover them- 
selves with the rags of Fundamentalism, and the 
foolish finery of Verbal Inspiration. Those were 
matters that denominations, long groping around in 
the wilderness of medieval creeds and theories, 
might have been expected to run amucR over. It 
was certainly going back to the weak and beggarly 
elements of sectarianism, when J. W. McGarvey 
said, in one of his regular contributions to a con- 
servative Disciple weekly, that he would not receive 
for baptism a person who confessed that Jesus is 
the Christ the Son of the living God, but was known 
to think that Jonah was not swallowed by a whale. 
Because Jesus is reported to have said that Jonah 
was swallowed by a whale, to think otherwise seemed 
to the good Professor proof that questioning it was 
a lack of faith in Christ. But the crowning proof of 
the folly of leaving our teachers and preachers theo- 
logically nude in a world elaborately clothed with 
the dogmas of centuries, appeared in another contri- 
bution by McGarvey to the same journal. In writing 
of the New Testament account of the birth of Jesus, 
he demanded that every Christian should accept the 
dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Shades of 
Alexander Campbell who maintained that the 
Church of Rome is the great harlot, and the Pope 
the man of sin in Revelation ! For so far from being 
the dogma of the miraculous conception of Christ, 
the Immaculate Conception relates to the sinless con- 
ception and birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and 
was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 
1854, when McGarvey was twenty-five years of age. 


That was certainly "speaking the language of Ash- 

Those of us belonging to the third generation dt 
Disciples were as much exposed, in nakedness, to an 
elegantly clad ecclesiastical world as our teachers 
had been. At the age of eighteen I began to preach, 
encouraged by friends in my home church. Before 
going away to college I was ordained by the elders 
of the congregation. When about twenty, I applied 
for admission to the College of the Bible at Lexing- 
ton, Ky., having ended my previous education at the 
age of thirteen at about the present fifth grade of 
an elementary public school. Examined in spelling, 
I failed by missing three words out of twenty, but 
as I called the professor's attention to the fact that 
he had not detected the third word, he passed me as 
an act of grace. Then confronted with a sentence, 
and asked to identify the nouns and verbs, which 
was quite beyond me, I was allowed to pass in gram- 
mar, upon assuring the professor that I could keep 
up with his class in advanced grammar if he would 
let me in. He did, and I did. So I began a course 
that scores of men were taking, that in four years 
would have graduated me as an educated minister. 
Those scores were mostly as ignorant as L With 
that course I could have been a preacher, for I was 
one without it, and paid my way through college by 
preaching. But for some strange reason, I had 
sense enough to switch to Transylvania, then Ken- 
tucky University, the next year. With the aid of 
three years of the academy and the college, I was 
able to enter the junior class of Hiram College, and 
graduated in the Classical Ministerial Course in two 
years more as a Bachelor of Arts. 

In all those six years in institutions that were edu- 
cating hundreds of men as ministers I was intro- 
duced to nothing more closely resembling theology 

5 These and similar things can be found in the later years 
of his department of Biblical Criticism in the Christian 


or philosophy than Milligan's Scheme of Redemption. 
That I studied for a semester in my year at the Col- 
lege of the Bible. What is remembered of it is that 
Professor I. B. Grubbs, having finished off in single 
hours the chapters dealing with such high themes 
as the Universe, God, Christ, and Redemption, spent 
more than a week of fervid discussion of the chapter 
condemning the use of the organ in worship. So it 
was all quite according to the pattern shown in the 
Millenial Harbinger for Schools of the Prophets. 

Since then, in the fifty years of preaching and 
teaching, such "rags of traditionalism" as I have 
found to cover my theological nakedness have been 
picked up along the way. For the "purity of speech" 
and the simplicity of the gospel taught by my fathers 
in the faith, I am not ashamed, but rather glorify 
God on that behalf. Of many teachers who instructed 
me to my lasting profit none was held in higher 
esteem, or remained more friendly to the end of his 
days, than "Brother McGarvey," although we were 
the poles apart on all matters of biblical criticism 
and legalism. Nor did the lack of systematic the- 
ology prove fatal to me in teaching biblical history 
and literature. Nevertheless it was a serious omis- 
sion in our schools of that day. A broad knowledge 
of the philosophy of the Christian religion, and the 
history of dogma might have helped my teachers and 
me in many ways. 

Things are better now. In my student days a few 
of our gifted and ambitious young men began going 
to the outstanding theological seminaries of the 
world, albeit with much shaking of heads, and some 
bitter criticism on the part of their elders. The- 
ology became less of a scarecrow to frighten off the 
young preachers. When W. T. Moore revived the 
Christian Quarterly in 1897 and kept it going for 
several years, it contained a number of articles on 
theological subjects, and the study of theology. In 
the first volume George C. Lorimer wrote on "The 
Transcendent Value of Theological Studies." Clin- 


ton Lockhart, in his article on "Ministerial Educa- 
tion," said: 

"We have been long accustomed to the cry against 
systematic theology; and yet my own experience 
in teaching ministerial students is, that they are 
more eager for information on that subject and 
devour a morsel of it with more voracity, when 
they can get it, than any other instruction that 
comes to their hands. Call it what you may, and 
slight it as you will, it yet remains true that 
Christian Doctrine and the history of doctrine 
have a bearing upon a preacher's power and use- 
fulness worthily comparable to that of any other 
branch of ministerial education. The conflict of 
doctrines is not yet done, and never will be done 
as long as men seek to know the truths of reve- 

Our college courses, with elementary studies in 
the Bible, are no longer thought adequate prepara- 
tion of our ministers, however important they are 
in starting them in such preparation. Our Bible 
Colleges or Schools of Religion aspire to become 
graduate seminaries fully accredited by the Ameri- 
can Association of Theological Schools. Our men 
in ever increasing numbers graduate from the 
world's notable .Divinity Schools. They may learn 
there the "language of Ashdod," but need no more 
write their sermons therein than in Hebrew. They 
may become familiar with many a strange passage 
in the long history of the Church, and look upon 
many an extraordinary garb wherein ecclesiastics 
have sought to cover the naked truth, but they need 
not don it. Among their own kind, upon the reserva- 
tion, they may roam unashamed in primitive theo- 
logical nakedness. But they need not be unclothed 
when meeting tribes more sophisticated, nor snatch 
up the rags that others have happily cast off. 

The fifth generation of Disciples have a rich her- 
itage that they need to know in order to appreciate. 

6 Pp. 74, 75. 


The more they learn, the better can they understand 
what treasure is theirs. The menace to their free- 
dom from dogmatic bondage lies not in contact with 
the thought and life of the church universal. With 
an understanding of their history, and life-long 
breathing of the free air of religious democracy, they 
can surely distinguish between the essential and the 
adventitious in doctrine and in practice. Rather does 
bondage threaten them from the legalism that 
thrives on ignorance and isolation. Of even the pur- 
ity of speech and simplicity of practice derived from 
the New Testament it must be said, "The letter kill- 
eth, the spirit giveth life." 

A reasonable conclusion from this cursory review 
of some phases of our past history is easily arrived 
at. The Disciples were born of a revolution within 
the commonwealth of Protestantism. Like every 
revolution in church or state, it was a fight for cer- 
tain fundamental ideas, and the rights and privi- 
leges inhering in them. During the conflict it was 
not possible to foresee all that was involved; still 
less was it possible to appreciate all that was valu- 
able in the possession of its opponents. With the 
cessation of acute controversy, which is the substi- 
tute for battles in political revolutions, it became 
possible and necessary to develop the principles con- 
tended for, and gather up what was consistent with 
them from the long past of the church universal. Or 
in other words, to enter into possession of our con- 
quered territory, and to establish relations with our 
enemies and other countries. 

The history of our Government affords instruc- 
tive parallels. Little could be done during the Revo- 
lution but grimly fight its battles. Afterwards, the 
fruits of peace were gravely endangered as the war 
of ideas and opinions raged over the adoption of a 
constitution. To the present day there is sharp con- 
flict over the interpretation of the constitution. Some 
would scrap it; others would not revise it where it 
is out of date. But, meanwhile, we have re-enacted 


into our laws from our former enemy, England, all 
that was not inconsistent with our revolutionary 
principles. Also we have established relations with 
other nations with which we share the earth. Fin- 
ally, we have recognized, and are cooperating with 
nations whose basic theories of government are rad- 
ically at variance with our own. That we are doing 
on the basis of interests we hold in common, as 
against a dangerous foe. But we are doing it also 
under the conviction that the best way to win a 
country like Russia to the ideals of our government 
is through friendly cooperation, and the successful 
practice of our own democracy. 

So it is, or should be, with our "Reformation of 
the Nineteenth Century." The hard battles are past. 
We struggle over clashing conceptions of what is 
implied in loyalty to our principles. We are building 
into our faith and life what is valid from the past. 
We have entered into amicable relations with our 
religious neighbors. We join forces with them 
against common foes of the good life. We find a 
basis for a working union in those truths and ob- 
jectives we share. For the rest, we believe that the 
hope of achieving the unity for which we plead lies 
in brotherly cooperation, and the consistent practice 
of our principles. 

Let our coming leaders move forward in the full- 
est liberty of opinion, with the broadest charity in 
all things, as they strive for the unity of the spirit 
in the bonds of peace. "Let knowledge grow from 
more to more." If we are to "hold fast that which is 
good," we can do so only after we have "proved all 

A "new edition" of the booklet on the Growth, 
Heritage, and Timeliness of the Disciples of Christ 
has been printed. A statement about the unifying 
influence of "the fourteen points" has been added. 
One pastor ordered a thousand. Five cents a copy. 
E. S. Ames, 5722 Kimbark Ave., Chicaga. 


Religion and Science* 

Rex D. Hopper, University of Texas 

Religious Faith and World Order 

We assume that religious faith is a necessary ele- 
ment in any social order. It is enough for present 
purposes to suggest that it consists essentially in the 
conviction that the values which constitute the social 
order are in line with the nature of things. With 
that assumption we are in complete agreement. As 
students of the problem know, a social order consists, 
essentially, of a set of notions or values about how 
things should be done. An understanding of these 
values is basic to the understanding of any social 

Therefore, a social order not only rests on faith ; 
it is a faith. When we say, as we frequently do, that 
a social order rests on faith, our meaning is not made 
clear unless we distinguish between belief and faith. 
For, beliefs may be held as ideals, in which event 
they are no part of the social order in any meaning- 
ful sense. But, if the beliefs are acted upon, how- 
ever imperfectly, they become the values in terms of 
which life is ordered. In short, they become the 
faith which is the social order. 

This distinction between belief and faith makes 
it possible to account for the ever-present discrep- 
ancy between what might be called the "apparent" 
and the "real" social orders. The apparent social 
order is the set of beliefs which people profess ; the 
real social order is the set of values in terms of which 
they actually behave. 

This distinction also points up the tragic fact that 
for most of us the Kingdom of God is an "apparent" 
social order rather than a "real" one. It represents 
a set of beliefs which we hold rather than a set of 
values in terms of which we act. Moreover, it is 
this real social order — this order of faith — which 
students of social movements have in mind when 

* Written for Seminar of the Des Moines Conference 


they insist that no social order can withstand the 
decline of faith in the beliefs which support it, and 
when they argue that no new social order can -be 
born in the absence of new beliefs to undergird it.^ 
If the foregoing analysis is valid — and we believe 
it to be — these conclusions seem justified: 

(1) The nature of whatever "world mind" and 
"world order" may emerge from the crucible of 
the present world struggle will be determined by 
whatever beliefs are implemented and translated 
into action, thus to become the faith of the new 
social order. 

(2) The possibility that the new world mind and 
order may be religious is directly correlated with 
the ability and willingness to translate religious 
beliefs into religious faith. 

Therefore, assuming that we are already com- 
mitted to the belief that the new world mind and 
order should be religious ; and assuming that we are 
willing to see religious beliefs translated into reli- 
gious faith; the basic problem with which we are 
confronted becomes clear enough. It is nothing other 
than the problem of implementing religious beliefs 
in order that they may become the effective values 
of the new social order. Faced with this problem 
we should not ask, "Can this be done?" Rather, we 
should ask, "How can this be done?" 

To the foregoing question there is a ready answer. 
Indeed, the answer is so obvious that it appears trite 
to offer it. Nevertheless, it is the thesis of this dis- 

1 This is L. P. Edwards' contention in his discussion of the 
role of the intellectuals in revolutionary movements. He con- 
vincingly maintains that it is the role of the intellectuals to 
rationalize the beliefs of a given social order in order that 
they may be the faith of that order and he contends that no 
social order can outlive the "transfer of allegiance of the 
intellectuals" from one set of beliefs to another. It is also 
that which Rosenstock-Huessey has in mind when he says 
that "The heart of man either falls in love with somebody 
or something or it falls ill. It can never go unoccupied. And 
the great question for mankind is what is to be loved or hated 
next, whenever an old love or fear has lost its hold." 


ctission that the new world mind and order will be 
religious only and if religious beliefs are trans- 
formed into religious faith through the introdu/^tion 
of the scientific spirit into the problem of the discov- 
ery of the nature and will of God. 

Religious Faitli and the Scientific Spirit 

In the first place, the proposal is not fantastic 
because the use of the scientific spirit has been tha 
only way in which men have been able satisfactorily 
to translate beliefs into a faith in terms of which 
they are willing- to act. 

This is true as a matter of record, a record which 
reveals the way in which men have substituted ade- 
quate beliefs for magical beliefs in one area of ex- 
perience after the other through the introduction of 
the scientific spirit. It is scarcely necessary to re- 
tell that story here. Only those who are ignorant 
of the record will attempt to deny it. 

It should be noted that we are not affirming that 
the use of scientific spirit is the only way in which 
beliefs about the nature of the universe in which we 
live may be translated into compelling faith. Magic, 
though erroneous, was quite compelling. What we 
are affirming is that the record shows that the use 
of the scientific spirit has been the only way in which 
men have been able to translate beliefs into enduring 
faith. This is true because only the scientific spirit 
brought to bear on the data under investigation has 
produced such understanding that relatively perma- 
nent adjustments to the universe in which we live 
have become possible. Certainly this has been true 
in the areas which we call the physical and natural. 
It is herein postulated that there are no a priori 
reasons why we should assume that similar results 
will not ensue from similar efforts in the areas which 
we call the social and spiritual. Only the ignorant or 
the dogmatic will label as fantastic the suggestion 
that so successful an approach be applied to the data 
of these areas. 


because the conviction that God is an existential fact 
is the cardinal element in religious belief. In such 
a view a "godless religion" is a contradiction in 
terms. In such a view, the tendency in much so- 
called religious thinking to decry theology and to 
talk of religion as a "way of life" to be lived without 
benefit of adequate theoretical support stands re- 
vealed for what it is. It represents the refusal to 
meet the issue presented by our thesis. It represents 

In the second place, the proposal is not fantastic 
the assumption that one can do the will of God with- 
out understanding the nature of God. In no other 
area of our experience with what Lundberg has 
called the "out there" do we make a similar assump- 
tion. In religious thinking alone do we still seem to 
assume that "ignorance is bliss" and that "it is folly 
to be wise." And the results are exactly those which 
we might expect. We continue to perpetuate the 
twin-errors of religious history: (1) we continue 
to create God in our own image; and (2) we con- 
tinue to dignify our own mores by assuming that 
they represent the revelation of the will of God. 

In such a view it is not fantastic to assume that 
since God is He can be known, and that our efforts 
to adjust to Him can become something other than 
the ethnocentric blunderings of magical practices. 
If one sincerely believes in God it becomes the es- 
sence of realistic thinking to trust in the proposition 
that He can and will reveal Himself to the earnest 
seeker after truth. Moreover — and much more im- 
portantly if the record means anything — it would 
seem possible and necessary to affirm that God can 
only reveal Himself to those who seek to know and 
do His will. In this sense, then, God is not self- 
revelatory. His ability to reveal Himself is limited 
by our capacity and willingness to seek after Him. 
Only an "atheist" can deny the validity and necessity 
of the effort to improve the quality of our search 
through the use of the scientific spirit. And, in this 
context, many a "professing theist" stands revealed 


as a "functional atheist" while many a "professing 
agnostic" stands revealed as a "functional theist." 

In the third place the proposal is not fantastic be- 
cause there are reasonable grounds for assuming 
that the scientific spirit is adequate as a means of 
discovering the nature and will of God. 

We are aware of the fact that there are those who 
make the contrary assumption. The refusal to uti- 
lize the scientific spirit as a means of enlarging and 
perfecting our knowledge of God was an escape de- 
vice in that it made possible the avoidance of odious 
comparisons between the startling achievements of 
an emerging science and the blundering efforts of a 
magical religion. As such it was quite satisfactory 
as a means of rationalizing intellectual laziness and 
as a technique for protecting the intellectual vested 
interests of a pre-scientific theology. But, it also 
resulted in pushing God outside the universe and 
left us in a universe in which God and all His works 
— including Man and all his aspirations — came to 
appear unnatural and alien. The consequences of 
this refusal on the part of religious leaders to utilize 
a new spirit as the foundation for their efforts to 
know and do the will of God are well-known to stu- 
dents of our intellectual history. Walter Lippman 
characterized them somewhat adequately when he 
said that we, like Aristophanes, came to believe that 
"Whirl is King having driven out Zeus." Against 
the background of such tragic failure, the inevitable, 
if unexpected, happened. Religious faith degener- 
ated into religious belief and the process of secular- 
ization set in as men substituted what they believed 
to be more adequate beliefs for their former reli- 
gious beliefs as the foundation of their faith. The 
practical result has been that religious beliefs have 
become less and less relevant to the actual social 
order in which men live and religion is left with the 
relatively innocuous function of assuring men that 
since the Kingdom of God on earth is not possible 


the Kingdom of God in Heaven may be enjoyed if 
only men will believe the right things. 

It is the thesis of this discussion that the only 
valid way in which God and all His works — includ- 
ing Man and all his aspirations — can again be made 
to appear a real part of the real universe is through 
the utilization of the scientific spirit in the effort to 
discover the nature and will of God. Only so can we 
hope to escape from the vicious maze of anthropo- 
morphic guesswork in which we are currently wan- 
dering. Only so can we hope to free ourselves from 
the disillusionment which must always follow the 
attempt to satisfy our need for faith through the 
adoption of erroneous beliefs. Only so can we hope 
to lay down a foundation of religious belief that will 
be broad enough and secure enough to generate the 
kind of religious faith demanded for the effort to 
build a religious world mind and a religious world 

It is evident that this brief and elementary dis- 
cussion can have little to say about the methods to be 
employed in the effort to introduce the scientific 
spirit into the investigation of the nature and will 
of God. However, two observations must be made. 
In the first place, it must be emphasized that we are 
only proposing that the scientific spirit be brought 
to bear on the study of the nature and will of God. 
That is, we believe that the statement "Ye shall 
know the truth and the truth shall make you free" 
is as true when God is the datum as it is true in any 
other area of experience. Furthermore, we believe 
that here, as elsewhere, "the deepest of all infidelity 
is fear lest the truth be bad." That this sort of spirit 
be focussed on the problems of theology is all that 
we are urging. That experimentation and demon- 
stration be substituted for exhortation and con- 
demnation is all that we are suggesting. We are not 
saying that the procedures, methods, and techniques 
of the physical and natural sciences will prove ade- 
quate for the task herein outlined. We are certainly 


saying that the basic spirit with which students in 
these areas approach their data should prove equally 
fruitful in the study of God. 

This leads us to our second observation. Though 
not unaware of the reciprocal relationship between 
data and methods, our present purpose will best be 
served by saying that we believe that the kind of 
methods employed in any field of investigation 
should be determined by the nature of the data un- 
der examination. What this position means when 
applied to the thesis of this discussion the present 
writer is not presumptuous enough to undertake to 
say. Moreover, what the introduction of the scien- 
tific spirit into the study of the nature and will of 
God might do to the traditional concepts and tech- 
niques of a pre-scientific age we do not know. In- 
deed, we do not care. We want only to know and 
serve God, and we want more guidance for our 
efforts than the clever guesses of brilliant men. We 
believe that religious beliefs will not again become 
the foundation of the faith which is the real social 
order until this need is met. Certainly it is possible 
to say that both our beliefs and our faiths will con- 
tinue to be mjrthical and magical until this need is 
met. In our view, myth and magic are poor founda- 
tions for a "world mind" and a "world order." 

Obviously, there are many who do not agree with 
what has just been said. To them, science is incom- 
petent to deal with the object of religious devotion. 
To them, religion is a matter of faith, by which they 
appear to mean belief supported, if at all, by argu- 
ment and disputation. And they glory in what seems 
to them to be the failure of the scientific spirit to 
illuminate our religious experiences. The editor of 
the Christian Century and the president of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago have recently given eloquent ex- 
pression to this point of view.^ 

2 In highly sophisticated form, the editor of the Christian 
Century devoted two recent editorials to the discussion of 
"Theology in the University" and "Theology in the Church." 


It is central to the position here advanced to grant 
any one the right to hold this view if he so desires. 
However, we must confess that the nature of the 
argument leaves us unconvinced. We do not believe 
that any such theoretical foundation is strong 
enough to sustain a religious world mind and world 

Rather, we respond to the magnificent declaration 
of faith recently uttered by A. W. Robertson when 
he wrote these words — 

"Centuries hence, we may look back upon this 

In these discussions the editor recognizes that "theology is 
nothing more or less than faith intelligent about itself"; 
argues that "No disaster which Protestantism has suffered in 
the past 100 years is comparable to the fading out of its in- 
tellectual understanding of its own faith"; and insists that 
"this deterioration of theological knowledge has enervated 
and sentimentalized the Christian faith." But the only lesson 
which the editor distills from this situation is the somewhat 
dogmatic statement that "scientific secularism has inundated 
the church" and "our whole civilization is itself 'off-center,' 
having been removed from its historical foundation in 
Christian faith" through the baneful influence of a science 
which has secularized education and, in consequence, our cul- 
ture. As a corrective to this condition, the editor proposes 
the teaching of a "theology based on revelation"; urges that 
the "churches' supreme task is ... to create and maintain a 
culture whose dominant thinking proceeds from the presup- 
position that Christianity is true; and argues that "the reve- 
lation given once for all in Jesus Christ is the very substance 
of the church's life. Other foundation can no man lay than 
that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Sophisticated 
though it is, the discussion is in no wise different from the 
Fundamentalism which we thought we had outgrown. It is 
a bit ironical to have the editor of the Christian Century 
begging Protestantism to "return from (the) futile search 
. . . into which liberalism has led it." He who pioneered in 
the crusade to introduce intelligence into our faith now turns 
his back on science and advocates a return to Fundamental- 
ism, failing to see that the process of the secularization of 
our culture is due to the absence rather than to the presence 
of the scientific spirit in our theological thinking. This we 
believe to be a major tragedy. We are again preparing to 
make religious faith unavailable to our culture through a 
repetition of the basic error which led us to deify an event 
and thus frustrate God's efforts to reveal Himself. By so 
doing we are blinded to the fact that our basic need is to 
study a process in order that we may facilitate God's efforts 
to reveal Himself. 


period, and may then know that our troubles were 
due to the fact that we did not know the laws gov- 
erning social and political activities. In fact, our 
ignorance is so complete at this moment that we 
don't think there are such laws. Society just blun- 
ders along. We look at social phenomena today 
exactly as people looked at the happenings in Na- 
ture before they knew the laws of Physics. As a 
result, we know no rules, and we flounder around 
in and out of one social or political experiment 
after another. Until we know the laws governing 
our social life, we can do no better. If we do the 
right thing it will be an accident.^ 

Extend these remarks to cover the conviction that 
God is and that the moral law is actually operative 
in our university and the statement is equally ap- 
plicable to the present state of our efforts to build 
the Kingdom of God. Fully aware that we run the 
risk of being brushed off as philosophically and theo- 
logically naive, it is still our deepest conviction that 
only the introduction of the scientific spirit into the 
study of the nature and will of God can make it pos- 
sible for us to "remake our civilization nearer to the 
heart's desire of the -best of us."* 

3 A. W. Robertson, "About George Westinghouse and the 
Polyphase Electric Current." A Newcomen Address pub- 
lished by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing 

4 We realize, of course, that what we are proposing is not 
original or new. Others, notably Henry Nelson Wieman, are 
undertaking to develop the same position. However, a frank 
evaluation of the present state of theological knowledge 
gives ground for the assertion that their word has had rel- 
atively slight influence and that the current is now running 
strongly in the direction of the "crisis" theology or some such 
modification thereof as the position defended by Charles Clay- 
tno Morrison. 

We do agree with Morrison when he writes that "the 
situation . . . calls for a radical revolution in our conception 
of Christian education" — a revolution which, if it should 
occur, would result in an educational program in which "the 
general student body would be attracted to theology as an 
integral part of a liberal education." 

However, it must be noted that Morrison does not propose 


James Shannon 

By C. H. Hamlin 

James Shannon, the leading professional edu- 
cator among the early Disciples, was born in Ireland 
on April 22, 1799. After attending the Royal Insti- 
tution of Belfast, graduating in 1818 and complet- 
ing the theological course in 1820, he was for 18 
months first assistant in an academy in Ireland con- 
ducted by Mr. James Carley. Although educated for 
the Presbyterian ministry, he devoted the greater 
part of his life to teaching. 

In 1821, James Shannon came to America to take 
charge of Sunbury Academy, a Presbyterian school, 
in the state of Georgia. He was there four years. 
Then for some reason, he united with the Baptists in 
1823 and in 1824 located at Augusta, Georgia, as 
minister of the Augusta Baptist church. In 1830, 
James Shannon became professor of ancient lan- 
guages at the University of Georgia. There he re- 
mained until 1836 when he became president of Lou- 
isiana College at Jackson, La. While he was there, 
he united with the Disciples of Christ and organ- 
ized a local church. It was there in 1839 that he 
met Alexander Campbell. 

In 1840, James Shannon was called to the presi- 
dency of Bacon College at Georgetown in Kentucky, 
becoming the third president of that institution.^ 
Bacon College, the first college to be established by 
the Disciples of Christ, was established in 1836 by 

1 Heretic Detector, 1840, p. 333. 

the integration of any such theology as Wieman and others 
are undertaking to develop. He is thinking in terms of a 
"theological knowledge rooted in revelation" and limited to 
the Christian tradition. The revolution would certainly be 
more radical and, we believe, more helpful, if the theology 
introduced in religious education should undertake to dis- 
cover the nature and the will of God and teach the results 
of such research rather than content itself with the function 
of rationalizing the beliefs of traditional Christianity. 


Thornton F. Johnson, who was forced out of George- 
town College, a Baptist institution, on account of his 
views. Thornton F. Johnson was trained at West 
Point and had quite a reputation as a professor of 
mathematics and civil engineering. He named this 
new institution Bacon College in honor of Francis 
Bacon for his contribution to inductive philosophy. 
Walter Scott became the first president of Bacon 
College but never remained with the institution. He 
came down from Ohio and delivered the inaugural 
address, taking as the title of the address for the 
occasion Novum Organum,^ so named from the title 
of a treatise written by Francis Bacon. Scott re- 
turned to Ohio; so D. S. Burnet was selected as 
president. He served until 1840, when James Shan- 
non became president. The first student body of 
Bacon College numbered 50 but soon grew to 130 
members from twelve states and the District of Co- 
lumbia. Many went there on account of the reputa- 
tion of Thornton F. Johnson as a teacher of engi- 
neering and mathematics. 

The inaugural address of President Shannon at 
Bacon College is an important educational document 
among the early Disciples. ^ He took as his topic 
"What Is Education?" In this address he stated 
that education should be "first and mainly ... to 
prepare the individual to think and act for himself" 
and "second to store the memory with useful knowl- 
edge for the purpose of practical application in the 
business of life." Shannon stressed the study of 
Greek, Latin, science, and philosophy. According 
to Shannon, children should be taught Greek in order 
to understand the New Testament as that contained 
the "science of salvation." President Shannon 
stressed moral culture as the highest aim of educa- 
tion, saying educate the "moral and religious fac- 

2 A copy of this address is now in the library of the Col- 
lege of the Bible at Lexington, Kentucky. 

3 Given in full in Millenial Harbinger, 1841, pp. 126-152. 


ulties," otherwise, "the less intellect men have, and 
the less intellect is cultivated, the better." Accord- 
ing to Shannon "you can not create faculties by edu- 
cation; nor can you educate faculties which do not 
exist any more than you can improve the sight of a 
man who has no eyes." Shannon held that the col- 
lege should give training with emphasis on moral 
culture as free as possible from all partisan spirit. 

When Bacon College closed in 1850, President 
James Shannon accepted the presidency of the Uni- 
versity of Missouri, succeeding President Lathrop. 
In Missouri, there were three political factions — 
Whigs, Benton Democrats, and anti-Benton Demo- 
crats. James Shannon was opposed to Senator 
Thomas Hart Benton, the famous senator from Mis- 
souri. These factions made a political football of 
the University of Missouri,^ In 1855, the General 
Assembly of Missouri declared all professorships 
vacant. The Board of Curators unanimously re- 
elected Shannon to the presidency, but he declined. 

James Shannon with D. Pat Henderson had be- 
come interested in establishing Christian University 
(now Culver-Stockton College) at Canton, Mis- 
souri, to serve the Disciples of the West. This insti- 
tution was chartered January 28, 1852, and opened 
for students in September, 1855. Dr. Pat Hender- 
son, president of the board of trustees, acted as 
president until 1857, when James Shannon was 
chosen president.^ After serving the institution as 
president for a little over two years, James Shannon 
died in Canton, Missouri, on February 25, 1859, 
after a brief illness.^ He was buried at Columbia, 

In addition to his activities as an educator, James 

4 Jones Viles, AHistory of the University of Missouhi, 
ch. 111. 

4 Jones Viles, A History of the University of Missouri, 
ch. IX. 

6 Millenial Harbinger, 1859, p. 293-295. 


Shannon had various interests. With D. Pat Hen- 
derson and T. M. Allen of Colum-bia, he was inter- 
ested in the higher education of young women. As 
the University of Missouri was not coeducational 
they secured the charter for Christian College, a 
college for young women at Columbia, Missouri, in 
1851. This was the first charter of Missouri to be 
issued for the college education of Protestant women. 
In politics, James Shannon was a pro-slavery Demo- 
crat, and bitter in his attacks on abolitionists. He 
addressed the State Pro-Slavery Convention at Lex- 
ington, Missouri, on July 13, 1855. This address 
was published by the society.'^ James Shannon was 
also interested in the development of railways. He 
was active in promoting the Georgia Central Rail- 
road, the Missouri Pacific, the Hannibal and St. 
Joseph, and the Wabash. President Shannon had 
a violence of manner and language on public ques- 
tions that made him few friends. 

James Shannon was married twice and had four- 
teen children.® 

7 James Shannon, Domestic Slavery. 

8 George L. Peters, "James Shannon — Christian Edu- 
cator," unpublished address. 

The International Convention of the Disciples of 
Christ will be held in Columbus, Ohio, next October, 
and there will be lively "midnight sessions." 

Dr. C. M. Sharpe has moved to Troy, New York, 
where he is now pastor of the Disciples Church. He 
writes: "I was getting entirely too lonesome off in 
the pastures of Arcadia. . . . Ever since the Grand 
Rapids convention, I have been growing more and 
more hopeful as regards the future of the Disciples. 
I saw the genuine and real progress that larger and 
better views are making among our people." 


Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. DeGroot 

My friend, your verses you must blame 

Your two bucks for delaying ; 
I find that I delay to pay 

To see what you'll be saying. 

That's the rosy-hued side of the picture, as por- 
trayed by George Beazley, Jr., of Richmond, Mo. 
The realistic school of versifiers is represented by 
C. M. Ridenour of Seattle, who opines : 

If the poems you publish from preachers' "pure" 

Are comparable to their sermons, 
Then I feel that for one, I should like to withdraw ; 

I should rather be shot by the Germans ! 

However, there is still an element of understand- 
ing and sjnnpathy for ye financial secretary, as wit- 
nesses Frederick W. Burnham, of Richmond, Va. : 

DeGroot must be a financier — 
His pleadings sure are tough ; 

But just to dry his flowing tears. 
Two bucks are quite enough. 

And, just to prove that people really do read the 
gems here embalmed in printer's ink, Richard Dick- 
inson of Eureka, 111., sends his favorite version of 
our "Excelsior" item : 

The shades of night were falling fast 

When thru an Alpine village passed 

A youth who strove with might and main 

To get across before the train. 

A crash — he died without a sound; 

They opened up his head and found — 

Excelsior ! , 


Vol. XLI. APRIL, 1944 No. 8 

The Community and Democracy 

Charles 0. Lee, Social Security Board, 
Shreveport 24, La. 

In our desire to make democracy work and to ex- 
pand the American Way of Life as an example to 
the world at large, we should consider well the 
place of the local community. The community has 
within it the power to glorify that ideal, or to make 
it impossible of attainment. 

Emerson said, "What you do speaks so loud I can- 
not hear what you say." Likewise, communities in 
action will ultimately tell the story as to whether 
America can point the way in Abundant Living — 
which way will do much to make the world a family 
of nations. 

There are many things in our community life of 
today which we could "point to with pride." This 
article, however, has as its aim a critical analysis 
of our local community status, and the points raised 
are intended to be those concerning which we should 
"view with alarm." 

Community Self-sufficiency 

There is first the assumption that communities 
are sufficient unto themselves. Nothing, however, is 
further from the truth. In the realm of com- 
modities, a community which would resolve to pur- 
chase only those things grown or fabricated by other 
members of the community, would soon find itself 
far short of the goods of life to which it has been 
accustomed and which it needs and desires. As one 
has said, in the mere prosaic act of eating breakfast 
we not only draw upon the resources of the Nation, 
but the world at large. However, what is more or 
less simplified here becomes a vital necessity in the 
realm of the philosophies of life. In this respect a 
community draws not only upon the world at large 


as of today, but digs into the centuries of the past 
and from every quarter of the globe. The assumption 
of a self-made man has long been exploded, as a 
fiction of the imagination. A self-made community 
is an assumption which is as equally fictitious — an 
anomaly in the world order. 

A community not only needs the continuous in- 
pouring of material goods from without, and the 
inpouring of world thought and idealism, but also 
the personification of these patterns in terms of 
living personalities if it is really to live. It must 
likewise give in exchange — it's goods, its philoso- 
phies, and its men. Otherwise a community becomes 
ingrown and tends to dance the dance of stagnation 
and death. 

The spirit of isolationism found in all too many 
communities in America today is a real threat to 
our ongoing way of life. I have in mind a particular 
community which has been an easy going Southern 
city. Its mores had come to be established through 
decades of drifting. Suddenly it awoke to the fact 
that its neighborhood was being filled with thou- 
sands of war construction workers. Many of these 
had ways and philosophies foreign to the drawling 
populace of the town. Resentment flared, because a 
community was disturbed — a community which 
did not in the least want to be disturbed, even if 
it did mean helping to win the war. It wanted peace, 
but it wanted its own way of life even more. 

To be sure it had received an allopathic dosage 
of foreign in-migration which had given the com- 
munity a rather bad case of social indigestion, but 
that indigestion was caused as much by the anemic 
condition of the "patient" as by the suddenness and 
quantity of the dosage itself. Yet the violent jerk- 
ing-up which this community has received will, I feel 
sure, work to its ultimate good. It will tend to free 
it of much of its previous isolationism and make of 
it a virile cosmopolitan center. 


The "native son" idea might be good provided the 
subject possesses the qualifications of greatness. 
However, when a community insists on deriving its 
leadership from native sons of inferior quality 
rather than imported leadership of proven worth, 
such a community falls short of the ideal to which 
it should aspire. 

Blocs of Influence 

A second danger in community life is the presence 
of blocs of influence often found within the com- 
munity. Communities, like nations, which are con- 
trolled by powerful blocs, are falling short of the 
democratic ideal. I know of a community where 
"group individualism" is quite apparent. More or 
less powerful groups want to dominate the scene. 
These blocs, dominated too often by either a zeal for 
a fragmentary goal or by pure selfishness, seem too 
often either to be unwilling to view the total com- 
munity good or do not know how to join hands in 
such a way as to make the total community good a 

As long as the dominant influence of a community 
is vested in a particular group which dams up the 
resourcefulness and opportunities of the citizenry 
at large, such a community is in a bad way. It is 
likewise far from the ideal of adjusted living, 
whether that dominant group is the First National 
Bank, the Chamber of Commerce, the labor union, 
or the Holy Roller Church. 


Democracy on the community level possibly 
reaches its acid test in the attitude of the majority 
to the minority groups within its midst. I have 
known of persons in important positions of leader- 
ship who sincerely felt that no integrity whatsoever 
could be found within a person who subscribed to 
the Catholic faith, and that every Jew was a shyster. 
Intolerance, however, has possibly reached its high- 
est point, especially in the South, in the attitude of 
the white race toward the Negro. It should be stated, 


in this connection, that there is a definite back- 
ground for this attitude. Also, of the approximate 
thirteen million Negroes in America, the majority 
still live in the South. In some communities the 
Negro population is almost equal to that of the 
white ; and in some it exceeds the white population. 
Harrison County, Texas, for example, has more 
Negroes than white people. In one Justice of Peace 
precinct in that county there lived in the year 1940 
some 175 white people and over 1,500 Negroes. In 
such a situation we are beyond mere idealistic con- 
ceptions and down to grass-root realities. 

Distance tends to lend enchantment to idealistic 
planning for other groups. It is a far different 
story when members of this same group live across 
the tracks or possibly next door in our own home 
town. I have seen pious folk who were ready to 
vicariously die for the "poor heathen" in Africa 
and who would literally pour out money for their 
salvation. Yet, many of these same people would 
deny the Negro down in the "flats" of their own 
home town many of the simple rules of justice and 
well-being, or even the possibilities of decent living. 

There are still numbers of people in the South 
who look upon the Negro as an animal rather than 
a human being. Like with other animals, there is 
a genuine fondness for those whom they feel to be 
their "own," but a disregard which is sometimes 
alarming of those beyond that pale. To many, the 
Negro is inherently incapable of living in a higher 
sphere than that to which he is at present subjected. 
To them, he was designed by the Almighty to be 
the "mud sill" of human society and as such he must 
remain. Therefore, even to think of elevating him 
into the stature of a human being violates the basis 
of a sacred tradition. In one community the Mayor 
was reported as having given vent to the expression 
that the keeping of the Negro in his place was of 
even greater importance than the winning of the 


present war. 

With reference to the Negro of the South, there is 
much to be desired. In cities, for the most part he 
lives in filthy hovels. On the plantations many do 
not even have the convenience of glass windows or 
screened doors. Illiteracy is still rampant and com- 
mon law marriages are almost as much the rule as 
the exception, Negro streets are usually unpaved 
and few of the homes have even the modicum of 
sanitary conveniences. He has few if any parks and 
playgrounds; and his schools are all too frequently 
make-shift affairs, alongside the pretentious school 
facilities for white children. It is no wonder that 
the church has been the center of his interest, for his 
church represents one of his few outlets — social as 
well as religious. Confined as he is, it is not amaz- 
ing that venereal diseases are rampant, for it is 
human nature that when the right kind of outlets 
are denied the wrong kind will often be embraced. 

The tragedy of the status of the Negro in the 
South, however, reaches its climax, not in the sordid 
picture drawn above, 'but in the basic philosophy 
of the inherent superiority of the white race and 
its natural concomitant, the inherent inferiority of 
the Negro — a philosophy which has been discarded 
as a biological fallacy by scientists long ago. 

The Negro of today is pretty much the product of 
white hands. Even with all of his faults and foibles, 
the white man could be thus addressed: "Sir, look 
upon thy handicraft." 

The way to abundant living in the South, as far 
as human relations are concerned will, of necessity, 
be a slow trek. It would be most unfortunate to 
even attempt a hasty social re-organization. Human 
beings, whether white or colored, must develop by 
the evolutionary rather than by the revoluntary 
process. Today from the standpoint of fitness, the 
Negro of the South is not the equal of the white 
race. However, even to improve his lowly status re- 


quires a new attitude upon the part of the white 
race — an attitude that his status can be definitely 

Such a change in attitude is vital if the South, 
in particular, is to become the enchanting region to 
which its leaders aspire. The Negro is a definite and 
vital part of its life. As such, the South, as a whole, 
can develop only in proportion to the measure to 
which this vital segment is permitted to develop. 

Whether we realize it or not, community solidarity 
cannot be sidestepped. In the last analysis, no com- 
munity can be stronger than its weakest segment. 
Therefore, as long as such a segment is left in ig- 
norance, filled with diseases, stiffled in relation to 
wholesome outlets, and denied the privilege of earn- 
ing that which it is potentially able, the South as 
a whole will continue to lag as a potent force in 
National and International leadership. 

The condition of the Negro is at present possibly 
the heaviest hand preventing the progress to which 
the South is entitled. It has wonderful natural re- 
sources. It has oil, gas, timber, iron ore, fertile 
fields, almost year-round climate — these and many 
more as the bases of a progressive development. Its 
human relations, however, have, in many ways, been 
outmoded for generations. If it is to climb out 
of its present status and "reach for the stars," it 
must outgrow its too prevailing spirit of community 
isolationism and also embrace a new philosophy 
toward one of its greatest potential assets — the 
Negro race. 

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your new 
pamphlet. The Disciples of Christ.' My wife and I 
have read it together with pleasure and profit. We 
were glad to get a synoptic view of the Disciples 
growth and heritage. Particularly interesting to us 
was your exposition of 'Before and After Pentecost' 
and also of the tradition of high regard for science." 



Wm. H. Erskine, Missionary in Japan 29 Years 
Confucianism in Japan serves as the moral and 
religious guide through the day time, when living 
and working together with others. Men rise in the 
morning to thank the gods of the faith of their 
fathers, and at the evening of life are buried with 
Buddhistic rites. Shintoism ties them to past, Con- 
fucianism directs their daily conduct and Buddhism 
offers a promise of reincarnation, at least, seven 
times. This departmentalization of life in Japan 
makes it possible for the religions of Japan to be 
inclusive, and all followers to be active in all three 
religious groups. Many Japanese Christians insist 
that it is possible to be a follower of the four re- 
ligions and be a zealous and devout Christian. 

"WE are citizens of three worlds," is emphasized 
by the oriental as well as the occidental religious 
life, but sad to relate it tends to divide rather than 
unite men. Magnify the past and you get the 
ancestor worship of the Orient or Judaism with its 
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Glorify the 
present and Confucianism in the east and Human- 
ism in the west is the result, both with their em- 
phasis on the here-and-now, where "work saves, not 
faith." Exalt the promise of compensation in the 
Happy Hunting Ground, the Streets of Pearl, or the 
glorified restoration of the Imperial Japanese 
Nation, and futurism or living for another world 
is the result. Jehovah of the Hebrews, whom we 
love, was to them and is to us, the "I AM," the "One 
who WAS, and IS, and EVER-SHALL-BE" gives a 
three world conception of God. 

Heaven helps those who help themselves, is the 
Chinese way of belief in the naturalistic philosophy 
that man must work if he would succeed, or if he 
would qualify to eat. Whether a man is saved by 
self (jiriki) or by faith in another (Tariki) oflPers 


the same psychology with a different ideology in 
their religious debates. 

The reaction of the Confucianist to the religious 
Buddhist is told in the famous story "Confucius 
Meets a Buddhist." One day while Confucius was 
going on an errand of mercy, he met a Monk who 
urged the great teacher to forsake the world, with 
its sins, sorrows, sufferings and separations and 
become a recluse with them. Confucius replied, "If 
as you say the world is full of misery, suffering and 
death, that would be the best reason for being in 
the world. By being in the world, I, not only can 
revere Heaven, I can love and serve man." 

The followers of Confucius in Japan as a rule do 
not have regular priests and worship halls. They 
are more or less organized like the cultural groups 
or the lodges of America. Much of the group pro- 
gram consists of reciting the moral poems of the 
Chinese classics. An illustration or two will suffice : 

"Press right on, though the ways are dark ; 
Skies may clear ere thy course is done." 

"Sincerity's own realm is one's secret chamber, 
Strong there a man is strong anywhere." 

"From the Emperor down to the lowest com- 
A man's chief aim is the right ordering of 
his life." 

Confucianism as a way of life was introduced 
from China with the first contacts with China in the 
fourth century, and later, it became indigenous when 
the students of Wang Yang Ming brought their 
"Yomei-ism" into the life of the Japanese people 
through the influence of one of Japan's greatest per- 
sonalities, Nakae Toju, the saint of Omi, in Central 
Japan. Another impetus was given it by the very 


famous Saigo, a great scholar, warrior and person- 
ality. Most people know him as the posthumously 
re-instated patriot. Saigo defined civilization as 
"the effectual working of righteousness, and not 
magnificence of homes, beauty of dress, or other 
ornamentations of outward appearances." 

The Rev. Kanzo Uchimura, the Christian Con- 
fucianist had until the time of his death, one of the 
largest Christian Churches in Tokyo. His church 
was spoken of as the 'non-church type of church,' 
for he believed in congregations but not in the poli- 
tics of organized churchianity. Uchimura is very 
proud of the fact that "to the call of the Christian 
Admiral from America, knocking from without, 
there responded, from within, a brave upright 
general trained in "Oyomei, a reverer of heaven and 
lover of mankind." Hear him again "Wang Yang 
Ming, with its great doctrine of Conscience (ryochi) 
and faith in the benign but inexorable Heavenly 
laws, was a great preparation for the teaching of 
the lowly Nazarene." The Rev. Uchimura not only 
had a great congregation, but was also the editor 
of a great weekly Bible Study magazine which 
reached the remote corners of the Empire. 

Religion, in both the orient and in the Occident, 
travels in the same four cycles, repeating itself 
again and again. During a war when men, unpre- 
pared for death must face an uncertain outcome of 
their individual lives and the innate fear of a judg- 
ment on their deeds in the flesh forgiveness and con- 
solation are sought. Death is not the end. The 
cause is worth dying for. There is a resurrection or 
a reincarnation. Both Catholicism and Buddhism 
offer an efficacious service of unction and Mass. This 
war time return to religion is not lasting, as the 
chaplains testify, 'after the roar of cannon and 
planes overhead have ceased and men return to the 
rear, religious zeal is gone.' This is known as the 
period of Infidelity. But after each such second 


cycle, there is a voice like a Lincoln urging men 
to see that "these dead shall not have died in vain." 
The influence of the dead and that of the ancestors 
becomes the predominating note, so much so that 
men walk backwards or let the dead do the tasks 
ahead. This power of the past comes to its own in 
the better side of Shintoism in Japan, Taoism in 
China, Judaism in the Occident, etc. But when the 
actual work of reconstruction of the world challenges 
men as it did Jesus, viril men are not satisfied to 
let dead men or ghosts or gods do it, nor will they 
wait for the natural evolutionary ascendency in man 
to accomplish without an honest effort to share in 
the task, but like Jesus shout, "My Father worketh 
until now and I work." "Shirt-sleeve" religion comes 
to its own when men dig in and help God, the gods, 
the ancestors to create the kind of world man needs 
for his highest development. This naturalism in man 
demands a recognition of the fact that he is a citizen 
of three worlds, the past, the present and the future. 

"This progressive, prospective and promissive 
type of thought which the Humanist of the Orient 
offers as a world religion finds inspiration in his de- 
velopment of a growing conscience (ryochi), and its 
morality in (chichi-kakubetsu) — attain in wisdom 
by correcting the five senses : seeing, speaking, hear- 
ing, thinking and appearing." Its social conscience 
grows in the proper adjustment in the five relation- 
ships of life, "Honor the Ruler, obey your parents, 
be faithful to your master, be true to your friends, 
and adjust yourself to your place in the family." 

Sin is the making of wrong choices, which when 
realized should be repented of and overcome, never 
allowed to cause one to brood too long over them, 
but retained only as values to guide one's future 
conduct, but never as ghosts to haunt the soul or to 
disintegrate the personality. Heaven is for you not 
against you, although it is all-powerful, unchange- 


able, and very merciful, and its laws are all-binding, 
unassailable and vary beneficent. 

The Rev. Uchimura in speaking of the Confucian 
saint who welcomed Admiral Perry said, "Saigo, 
a slow, silent, childlike man, seems to have been 
mostly alone with his own heart, where we believe 
he found One greater than himself and the uni- 
verse." Jesus who was much alone and in prayer 
had no place in his scheme for the recluse who 
sought a selfish nest for self, nor for the selfish men 
who dug holes and hid things for their own winters. 
It is no wonder that the beautiful love chapter ends 
with the challenge, "now abideth faith, hope and 
love, but the greatest of these is love," that is, the 
most important thing is having a heart of love 
expressed in deeds that keeps you from having a 
place to lay your head. 

The Rev. Chiwaya, pastor of the Tennoji Chris- 
tian Church during her first ten years as a self-sup- 
port, self-governing and self-propagating Church, 
needs no introduction to the Disciples who have fol- 
lowed the work of the Disciples in Japan. Two years 
the writer's Japanese language teacher, and with 
whom the writer served as the associate pastor, a 
fellow teacher and chapel speaker in Osaka Christy 
Institute, was a leader whose Confucian background 
made him a power as he interpreted the Confucian 
doctrine of "Revere Heaven and love mankind" in 
terms of the personality of Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

The Confucian Christian believes in the three 
worlds, the past with its ancestral obligations; the 
present with its tasks and opportunities to die a 
beautiful death in a beautiful way in a beautiful 
place, i.e. duty ; and in the future where the faithful 
live forever. The brotherhood of man is seen in 
their efforts to lift their fellow men above the sins, 
sorrows, sufferings, separations of this present life, 
and in inspiring men to live abundantly and become 
their brother's keeper. May their tribe increase. 


Purity in Hymns 

W. M. Forrest, Cuckoo, Va. 

By purity of speech Alexander Campbell meant 
the elimination of all save New Testament terms 
from the vocabulary of our religious teaching. 
Quaintly, he referred to it as the language of Ca- 
naan, in contrast with the language of Babylon, or of 
Ashdod. As applied to the hymns of the church it 
was to rule out all that expressed ideas foreign to 
the New Testament, and all words not used by bib- 
lical writers, even if the sentiment was in harmony 
with the Bible, It was directed against the ecclesias- 
tical and metaphysical practices and beliefs ex- 
pressed in hymns instead of confessions of faith. 

The Disciples' development of vocal and instru- 
mental music in the worship of the church has been 
attended by many growing pains. That, however, 
is not unique. Church music in general has had 
similar difficulties, and has come up through great 
tribulation. All music, including that of the church, 
is of comparatively modern development in the form 
that we know it. Droning chants were probably 
what primitive Christians used, of a sort that almost 
anybody could fit to church uses. In 1322 Pope John 
XXII denounced counterpoint, branding it as lascivi- 
ous, and voluptuous, and fit only for profane har- 

Trouble in our churches began before any organ 
made its appearance there. W. S. Hayden tells us of 
an outcry because he sang the harmony of a fine 
melody while the congregation were vocalizing. ^ 
They were willing to make melody, as the New Tes- 
tament called it, but tenor, alto, and bass they 
branded as worldly innovations. Campbell indig- 

1 See an interesting discussion in relation to the Disciples' 
organ controversy. Lamar, Memoirs of Isooc Errett, Vol. 
II, pp. 30-32). 

2 Millennial Harbinger, Vol. XXXIX.p . 141. 


nantly protested against publishing his Christian 
Hymnal with musical notes, and using it in singing 
schools. Hayden issued a music -book for use of sing- 
ing schools that would teach the hymn tunes, but 
substituted other words for religious and moral ex- 
pressions, considered irreverent except in worship. 
Indeed, Campbell preferred to have his Hymn Book 
issued with no indication of tunes to be used, "It is 
infinitely more important that we should have one 
pure speech, and one evangelical psalmody than one 
and the same tune."^ The roots of our first divisive 
strife are here laid bare. Our churches had restored 
religion and worship to the common people. Altars, 
sacraments, priests, clergy were all swept away. 
The New Testament, the people's book, in the plain 
and simple language of Tyndale, was in their hands. 
They had the right of private interpretation. Any 
man of them could administer the ordinances, speak 
the word to the congregation, raise the hymns to 
any tune, in any key he pleased. Whatever the origin 
of the tune, it became folk music as sung with modi- 
fications and quavers of the region where it was 
used. The hymns might be new or old, but they were 
simple, as may be seen in the one hundred and 
twenty-five selections of Campbell's first book of 
1828. Neatly bound in leather they could be bought 
for 371/^ cents. Later editions added much more, but 
of the same kind, and without notes, and at the same 
popular price. 

With the rise of singing schools and music books 
the young people learned the tunes, keys, and time 
correctly, and became familiar with the richness of 
harmony. The singing of their elders grated upon 
theirs ears, and even shamed them in the presence of 
their friends. They wanted standardized church 
singing. Folk ways were passing on the frontier. 
A leader of song, with a music book, and at least a 

3 M. H., Series III, Vol. V, pp. 710, 711. Hymn Book Pre- 
face, p. 4, 2nd ed. 


tuning-fork, was demanded. The whole tendency 
was away from the simplicity of the elders. Settled 
preachers, of college education, were taking over the 
sermons, and administering the ordinances, pre- 
centors were taking charge of the music, and devel- 
oping choirs. The elders could not read the notes, 
nor sing the parts, nor love the new hymns. The 
day of the common man was passing. He might 
as well be in Boston as a layman in a clergy dom- 
inated ecclesiasticism. Thus the fat was in the fire 
before the organ came to add fuel to the flames. 

One who understands the fundamental principles 
involved can sympathize with the good people in our 
primitive churches as they painfully witnessed their 
"ancient good become uncouth." Their arguments 
against the innovations were unconvincing. Their 
unwillingness to concede to others the right to bring 
in a new order as the old was passing, was unfor- 
tunate. But in their conviction that the passing of 
the old order would rob our churches of much of the 
freedom of democracy in religion, they were pro- 
foundly right. The pity is that they joined battle 
over nonessential things, instead of holding the line 
of basic principles. Our developing hymnology since 
the days of our first hymnal shows a number of in- 
teresting things. Campbell was certainly no trust- 
worthy authority on music, for the better it became 
the more his feelings were outraged. But he rightly 
conceived the value of hymns in the life of the indi- 
vidual and of the church. Judged by the hymns he 
wrote, his poetic gifts, even in the field where few 
poets of first rank have ever excelled, were far below 
the average. But he had a keen appreciation of the 
value of hymns to his people. It was a time when 
hymns were read in homes and churches. As he 
said, "The hymn book of a Christian community, 
next to the Bible, is most generally read by all true 
Christians."* Such is far from being the case now, 

4 Preface, p. 5. 



even with the Bible having ceased to be the prin- 
cipal reading- matter of church members. Hymn 
reading is not easy, with the words printed in the 
musical score. Nor are the popular hymns always 
worth reading. The old custom of reading the hymn 
from the pulpit before singing it from the pew has 
died, as did the older practice of lining the hymn out 
for the congregation. 

Being thus extensively read, the hymns were not 
only a means of worship, but also a medium of in- 
doctrination. "It is the best substitute in the world 
for what is unusually called a confession of faith, 
an exhibit of Christian doctrine, and Christian in- 
struction."^ He complained that sectarianism and 
speculative philosophy had contaminated the foun- 
dations of worship. But he was eager to avail of the 
opportunity afforded by the hymn book to sing the 
gospel and the plan of salvation into men's ears.* 

6 Introduction, p, 9. 

Witness a number of hymns on the baptism of John, 
of Jesus, and of converts, where he uniformly used 
the word immersed. Thus in his own hymn to John, 

"He bade all those who did repent, 
Forthwith to be immers'd." 


"Reform, and be immers'd, 
Says our redeeming Lord." 

And again, 

"Reform and be immers'd he saiUi 
For the remission of your sins."'^ 

The hymns, like the preaching, were against the 
vain speculations of men : 

5 Ibid, p. 6. 

7 Hymns 9, 97, 98. Campbell called the first a Psalm, 
the other two Spiritual Songs. 


"The Book of Nature open lies, 

With much instruction stor'd ; 
And when the Lord anoints our eyes, 

Its pages light afford. 

"Philosophers have por'd in vain 

And guessed from age to age ; 
For reason's eye could ne'er attain 

To understand a page. 

"With skill to measure earth and sea, 

And weigh the subtle air, 
They cannot, Lord, discover thee, 

Though present ev'ry where. "^ 

Consistently opposed to the use of trinitarian 
phraseology as he was, it should occasion no surprise 
to find that Campbell banished it all from his hymnal. 
There will not be found in any edition of his hymnal 
any song to the Trinity, or the Triune God, or the 
Three in One, or the One in Three. Nor will there 
be found the familiar doxology, "Praise God from 
whom all blessings flow," nor any other hymn or 
gloria of praise or petition to the Holy Ghost. He 
wrote on this subject early and late, always to the 
same effect. "From the beginning of Genesis to the 
end of Revelation, no man, patriarch, Jew nor Chris- 
tian; prophet, priest, nor apostle, ever did address 
the Holy Spirit directly in prayer or praise. They 
pray for the Holy Spirit, but never to it." He adds, 
This hymn, then, is not only contrary to the genius 
of the New Covenant, but uncommanded and un- 
precedented in the book of God."^ In discussing 
doxologies he cited five published by the American 
Baptist Publication Society. All of them sang praises 
to the Holy Spirit. Remarking that all would be 
approved by almost all Christendom, he neverthe- 

8 Spiritual Song 1. 

9> Christian Baptist, p. 407, 1827. He stated that he had 
made the same assertion ten years earlier. The hymn re- 
ferred to is "Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove." 


less branded them ^s a product of the Arian and 
Athanasian controversy without biblical sanction. 
They are war songs that "have been sung, piped, 
and encored, from Constantinople and Rome to the 
to the remotest hamlet in which stands a church."^" 

The Christian Hymnal was given by Campbell 
late in his life to the American Christian Mission- 
ary Society to make what profit it could out of the 
sales. A committee headed by Isaac Errett took in 
hand the rivision of it in 1864. This was in re- 
sponse to an insistent demand for a newer and bet- 
ter book. I have no copy of the revised book before 
me, but it must have continued the tradition of pure 
speech established and insisted upon by the older 
book from 1828 to 1864.^^ My personal acquaintance 
with a hymnal in general use among our churches 
begins with the New Christian Hymn and Tune 
Book, published by the Fillmore Music House in 
1882, and enlarged by adding Part Third in 1887. 
It has a list of eleven hymns under the heading 
Holy Spirit in the index of subjects. Included with 
a number of hymns at the end of Part Two for 
which the full musical score is not given, there is 
found tucked away at the very end, the famous 
Doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings 
flow." By way of explanation and apology for so 
daring an innovation, above the words is stated in 
brackets, Inserted by request. Thus, at length it had 
come to pass that "Saul also was among the proph- 

The hymns listed under Holy Spirit are quite in- 
offensive except two. They recite the wonder of the 
descent of the Spirit, and return thanks to God and 
Christ for the gift. A snooper looking for scandal- 
ous Disciple unorthodoxy might exclaim Aha! upon 
finding in the index of first lines, "Holy, holy, holy, 
Lord God Almighty." That is a famous hymn to the 

10 M. H., Series III, Vol. VII, pp. 508, 509, 1850. 

11 M. H„ Vol. XXXV pp. 520, 524; Vol. XXXVIII, p. 627. 


Trinity whose last line in both the first and last 
stanzas ends, "God in three persons, blessed Trin- 
ity." But no, it has been changed to what is now 
the well known ending of pure Disciple speech, "God 
over all, and blest eternally." One objectionable 
number among the group on the Holy Spirit is, 
"Blest Comforter Divine," which is a prayer to the 
Holy Spirit, both of thanks and petition. Another 
that could not, in early days, have passed muster is 
"Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed," whose final 
verse prays the Spirit to "make our hearts thy dwell- 
ing place." 

When the Fillmores brought out their New Praise 
Hymnal, copyrighted in 1896 and 1906, they omitted 
the old Doxology, no doubt by request. "Our Blest 
Redeemer" was retained, but with the last stanza 
rewritten to remove the prayer to the Spirit. "Blest 
Comforter Divine" was left out, and the other hymns 
under the heading. Holy Spirit are unexceptionable. 
"Holy, holy, holy" appears in its revised form, omit- 
ting the Trinity. 

Passing by other books, several of high excellence 
that have been in general use among Disciples, let 
us look at Christian Worship, A Hymnal. Prepared 
l>y a joint committee of Disciples and Northern Bap- 
tists, and published simultaneously by their respec- 
tive Boards of Publications in 1942, it has passed 
into current use. The first thing to keep in mind is 
that it is a hymnal for two large religious bodies 
and is, therefore, likely to contain hymns that one 
or the other would not have included, although the 
great majority of the pieces are acceptable to both. 
Not only may any member of the joint committee 
disclaim responsibility for any given hymn; either 
committee as a whole may do so. Both from that 
fact, and from a growing tolerance, or indifference, 
on the part of Disciples as to what they sing, there 
is much included in the book that our forefathers in 
the faith would have abjured. 


Numerous hymns of praise or petition offered to 
the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit appear, including, 
of course, the Doxology. The beautiful "Eternal 
Father, strong to save" is there, with its first three 
stanzas appealing to the Father, to Christ, and to 
the Holy Spirit, and its fourth addressed to the 
Trinity. But "Holy, holy, holy," is given in the Dis- 
ciples version. On the other hand, there are three 
Glorias, to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When 
all such are listed, however, it adds up to very little 
compared with the Episcopal Hymnal, from its 
earliest to its latest editions. In it may be found 
numerous hymns of the type of "Eternal Father, 
strong to save," with a verse to each person of the 
Godhead, and a final verse to the Trinity. God Tri- 
une ; Mysterious Godhead — ^three in One ; The sacred 
Persons Three, the Godhead only One ; the Everlast- 
ing Three in One ; Equal Three in undivided unity ; 
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost — 
these are trinitarian words and phrases making up 
an important part of the official Episcopal book. 

Now, of the things here written, what is the sum? 
First, profound thankfulness that the church has a 
priceless treasure of sacred song that all constantly 
use without thought of whether it came from Cath- 
olic or Protestant, from Calvinist, Lutheran, or 
Wesleyan, from Jew or Gentile, from Unitarian or 

Second, that we should freely concede to every 
communion full liberty to sing its own creeds and 
shibboleths, even as we ourselves do, until such time 
as they may revise or discard them. 

Third, that it should not be a matter of indiffer- 
ence to us what we sing. Our Disciple fathers fought 
a brave, hard battle against many of the things 
found embedded in the creeds and hymns of Prot- 
estantism. We enjoy a freedom from oppressive 
tenets and ecclesiastical practices that was won by 
uncompromising opposition to theories of conver- 
sion, and formulations of theology that had long 


tyrannized over the souls of men. While holding 
fast to whatever is valid in the faith we share with 
other Christians, we should neither sing the hymns 
nor follow the practices that would entangle us 
again in bondage. 

Whether we use our own hymn books, or for any 
reason those of an interdenominational nature, we 
can omit from our singing those that run counter to 
our reason and our faith. Whatever the truth striv- 
ing for expression in songs to the Triune God, the 
Three in One, and the like, they are entirely beyond 
the comprehension of our modern worshipers, and 
incapable of awakening the feelings of wonder, love, 
and praise that should characterize worship. 

As for singing the praise of the Holy Ghost, the 
thing \o remark at the outset is that the word ghost 
should be banished from our religious vocabulary. 
It is altogether obsolete except as an apparition of 
a dead man. Campbell changed it uniformly to 
spirit, as have the revised English Bibles. True, he 
occasionally spoke of the Holy Guest, under a Scotch 
usage based upon a mistaken elymology.^^ g^t aside 
from any matter of the correct word or any theo- 
logical theorizing as to the propriety of praying to 
the Holy Spirit, there ran through many hymns to 
the Spirit the pernicious doctrine of conversion then 
almost universally held by Protestant denomina- 
tions. The sinner was taught that his conversion 
depended entirely upon the gift of the spirit for 
which he must beg at mourner's bench or altar. 
Seekers after God were torn between irrepressible 
emotionalism and dark despair. The excitable ones 
"got through" on a wave of enthusiasm. The more 
sober struggled in vain for the mysterious change, 
often ending in black melancholia, or reacting into 
bald infidelity, according to their mental and moral 
makeup. To this Campbell opposed the simple New 
Testament teaching that called on all men to accept 

12 Campbell, M. H., Series III, Vol. VII, p. 509 ; Richard- 
son, Office of the Holy Spirit pp. 80 81. 


Christ, obey his commands, and jo5rfully receive the 
promised salvation. For all that, he preached and 
wrote and debated, and many received the word 
gladly. Small wonder that both he and they were 
eager to escape from the prevailing errors of a the- 
ology, expressed or implied, in creeds and hymns, 
that left men a prey to blindness. Campbell's ambi- 
tion was "to save my contemporaries from a religion 
of blind impulses, animal excitements, and new reve- 

"Eternal vigilance is the price of libjerty^' in 
church as well as state. It is not found in the sing- 
ing of sentimental, erotic, and philosophical hymns. 
Nor is it maintained by thoughtless parroting of 
words, good or bad, in any hymn that chances to be 
in any hymnal that comes to hand. That is not sing- 
ing with either the spirit or the understanding. 
With all our improvement in church music, both 
vocal and instrumental, we should strive to pre- 
serve the old time purity of words and thoughts. 

Surgery Is Religious 

Richard L. James, Richmond, Va. 

"I'm sorry. Sir, the doctor is in surgery," replies 
the attendant at the desk in answer to the enquir- 
er's question. The man proceeds down the hall where 
several persons are trying to control anxiety so 
visible in their expressions. A minister is there 
helping meet the emergency with powers arising out 
of faith in God. These are relatives of one whom 
the doctor has in surgery. Surrounded my the mys- 
tery, exclusiveness and finality of the operating 
room is the one they love. Into the keeping of God 
and the hands of the surgeon they have committed 
him. Here is the partnership : God and the surgeon ! 

The minister prays that God may restore the 
stricken one to health. In answering such prayer 

13 Campbell and Rice Debate, p. 751. 


God takes the surgeon into account. Whether he 
wishes or not the surgeon is involved in religious 
processes. He is related to the welfare of every 
individual in the church. According to his skill the 
elder has a triumphant life over disease. Because of 
him, the ablest of God's spokesmen lives or the voice 
in the pulpit is silenced. A physician cannot escape 
religion. It surrounds him like the air he breathes. 
It is on the page of every prescription he writes. 
Religion is involved in every life saved, each child 
delivered and the final closing of the eyelids on this 
earthly existence. 

As a minister's experience brings him into inti- 
mate contact with people, they disclose some of 
their problems. They explain their medical exami- 
nations, prescriptions and the remedies affected. 
Occasionally they tell of the physician's failures. 
These things are spoken as of one who belongs to 
them. They are not spoken of "a doctor," or "the 
doctor," but "mi/ doctor." Where this personal con- 
dition of belonging to someone else exists, there is 
a religious relationship. As such, a physician is 
part and parcel of religion. 

Through the minister people approach God in 
audible prayer at church. Likewise, God comes to 
them through the physician in answer to many of 
their prayers. The physician is involved in the 
praying of Christians for those who are ill and in 
need of attention. If his work is not religious, 
neither is that of a minister! Both must face God 
in their work! 

When I came out of the hospital, it was realized 
that through the skill of my doctor my life was 
spared. I was grateful for the prayers of my friends, 
but these were answered through the physician, 
nurses, and all those who have a part in making 
hospitals possible. God works through human lives 
to bring his will to pass. 

Surgery is religious ! By adding to skill and knowl- 


edge, faith and reverence for the Creator and Sus- 
tainer of all life, we piece together the shattered 
hopes incident to many incapacitated bodies and 
thus create both a healthful attitude and a greater 
admiration for the ability of the physician. In every 
prayer a minister offers for the sick he must be 
conscious of and thankful for those who dedicate 
their lives to the art of healing. "I was sick and ye 
visited me." 


Spreading 'The True Faith' 

Sam I'l-iEEMAN, Fayetteville, Ark. 

All loyal sons of the Disciples of Christ ever seek 
more effective methods and techniques for deepen- 
ing and spreading "The True Faith." These sons 
are in direct line of duty with their fathers who so 
effectively followed the frontier with their vital 
religion. Their practical idealism and methods of 
planting the faith met religious needs of emotion- 
ally balanced men. No objective mind with the facts 
can fail to appreciate the large influence of the Dis- 
ciples in bringing a leavening measure of balance to 
fanatical emotionalism among the various denomi- 
nations. Bearing eloquent witness to the effective- 
ness of our fathers was the march of the faith to 
the unprecedented number of a million adherents 
in a hundred years. Native to the soil which is 
America, and fired with a reasonable faith, never 
requiring "a, speaking-in-tongues" type of experi- 
ence, our appeal was to that great middle group of 
people having a large place in the growing life of 
an expanding culture. In our land there are millions 
of middle group citizens who have no dynamic re- 
ligion. They do not understand nor can they ap- 
preciate the old language of the confusing "holy- 
mouth," out-worn religious symbols, and the "get- 
religion" approach. These people are in basic need 
of what the Disciples at their enlightened best have 


to offer. Now, if any minister among us is experi- 
menting with different methods and techniques of 
making the "un-fellowshipped" aware of our heri- 
tage, having a degree of success, he ought to share 
with other sons who are also working at the task. 
Never have our citizens had greater need of mem- 
bership and fellowship in a ready-made group of 
sensible persons with a reasonable faith. Nor have 
we Disciples before had quite as much to offer. How 
to make these doctors, lawyers^ teachers, laborers, 
farmers, and business men aware of our heritage, 
our timeliness, and appeal — is the pressing ques- 
tion. Here is a technique with which I am now 

All of you know by this time of the recent lectures 
given by Dr. Ames on the Pacific coast. With con- 
siderable pressure in conspiracy with his deep love 
of "The Faith" he was impelled to put these lectures 
into a very inexpensive little booklet entitled. The 
Disciples of Christ: "Their Growth," "Their Heri- 
tage," "Their Timeliness." No Disciple who can 
read or hear can afford to be without a copy. If 
he can only hear, I will read it to him. I never cease 
to marvel at the potentialities of a non-profit press. 
Here in a most attractive booklet, forty-seven pages 
in length is the capital bargain of the year. It can 
be bought for five cents per copy. 

When I learned this I got an order in immediately 
for forty copies. Now do not allow this to alarm 
you. I had no intention of reading all of them; 
but I do intend to place these by careful selection 
into the homes of forty literate people, who need 
what we have to offer. I have in mind two purposes : 
to deepen the sense of appreciation in sensible 
persons of this congregation with choice information 
contained in the booklet; and to spread the "Faith 
of the Free" among intelligent unchurched people. 
Allow me to illustrate? I went into the home of 
one of my families. The "head-of-the-house" is a 


well-educated bridge engineer. With proper back- 
ground I presented him with a copy of the booklet. 
He was so much pleased with it that he was very- 
insistent that he be allowed to pay for it. Now, if 
that happens to you, take the money; for a man 
is more likely to use that for which he pays. Re- 
cently I was visiting with a man, a PhD in Agricul- 
ture, former professor in one of our universities. He 
is not an unbalanced emotionalist. When I offered 
him a copy of this booklet a glow of gratefulness 
spread across his countenance. Later, when he has 
read the materials I will go into his home for an- 
other visit. He is not a member of my church. I 
am evangelizing him. 

Briefly I have set forth a technique by which 
I am implanting and spreading "The True Faith." 
During the course of the next several months I pro- 
pose to call in all those homes within our family- 
sized church, leaving one of these booklets where 
they will promise to use it, enlarging their infor- 
mation, deepening their faith. I shall use these 
booklets with new persons whose temperaments and 
enlightenment have to a large degree left them with- 
out a dynamic faith and fellowship among less free 
churches. This will be calling with a purpose. I 
have already used a number of these booklets having 
sufficient effectiveness to allow me to see that these 
forty copies will be too few for my purposes. What 
are you doing to deepen and spread "The True 

Many thanks for sending me your admirable 
apologia written for delivery in California. I have 
read it all at a sitting this morning and cannot re- 
frain from writing to say that you have done the 
task exceeding well. It is calculated to enhance 
the pride which the members of the true faith have 
a right to feel. I got some fresh ideas in the sections 
on the neo-orthodoxy so characteristic of the current 


"Stop, Look, Listen" 

The following excerpts are from letters of Dis- 
ciples who have read the booklet of 48 pages about 
the Growth, Heritage, and Timeliness of the Dis- 
ciples. A "new edition" is available and may be 
secured in quantities, or single copies, at 5 cents 
each. E. S. Ames, 1156 E. 57th Street, Chicago 37, 
Illinois : 

Your new booklet came in time for me to use it in 
my series of studies at Mid-Week services on "What 
Do Disciples of Christ Believe?" It is really a study 
of our history. 

I am writing to ask at what price you can supply 
us with copies of your addresses on "The Disciples 
of Christ" delivered at the Northern California State 
Convention last summer at San Jose. We are inter- 
ested in distributing them to all of our ministers in 
this area and in also having a stock of them on hand 
for promotional and classroom purposes. 

You will receive so many favorable comments on 
your October and November issues of The SCROLL 
especially in reference to "The Disciples of Christ," 
I hesitate to tell you how deeply I appreciate them. 
Suffice it to say I've preached several sermons to 
my tiny "flock" along that line, including a con- 
fession of our weakness when the letter kills the 

You have done a good and constructive piece of 
work in your articles in THE SCROLL on the Dis- 
ciples. We are all indebted to you for your discern- 
ing analysis and statement. Keep up the good work. 

I have received the booklet and have read it with 
much interest and profit. It was a very constructive 

I received today a copy of your booklet, "The Dis- 
ciples of Christ." Reading the three lectures together 
makes them even more significant than in their 
serial appearance in The Scroll, I am wondering 


how many of these you had printed, and if they 
are available for sale? 

You make the Disciples seem so superior! I've 
always thought that I had to close my eyes to feel 
ihat way. 

I am frequently asked by individuals who come to 
the church and people whom I meet elsewhere, "just 
what is the Christian Church or what does your 
Church stand for?" Your pamphlet, more than any 
other material of which I know, would be the thing 
which I should like to place in their hands. Indeed 
I wish that each of our own Church members could 
have and read such a presentation. Are they avail- 
able in quantity? 
From Non-Disciples 

"It has routed some very fantastic notions I had 
about the creed and practices of the Disciples found- 
ed on the peculiar little building used years ago." 

"I have enjoyed very much reading your addresses 
under the title 'The Disciples of Christ.' I had no 
conception of the size of this denomination, nor of 
the rapidity of its growth." 

"I cannot thank you enough for your discussion 
of 'The Disciples of Christ,' which is at once illumi- 
nating and inspiring. Blessings on you, now and 

"Your pamphlet 'The Disciples of Christ' ar- 
rived yesterday. I have read every word of it and 
what a fine job you have done." 

"Permit me to thank you for the three lectures 
on the Disciples of Christ recently sent to me. They 
interest me. My mother was a member of the Dis- 
ciples Church at the time of her marriage. If I were 
planning religious activity and starting from 
scratch, your program appeals to me as much as any 
I know. Most of the sectarian differences appeal to 
me as trivial and any formal Credo misses the point 
entirely, substituting an intellectual dogma for a 
way of life." 


Religion and Human Living 

John O. Pyle, Chicago, 111. 

The First Amendment to the American Consti- 
tution places Religion outside the realm of Federal 
legislation. If this principle of releasing religion 
from man-made laws be practised in distinct 
churches with respect to their members, we arrive 
at a church comprising free people. These people 
are more or less like-minded individuals who refuse 
to impose formal creeds upon themselves. In such 
an atmosphere of freedom, if there be goodwill and 
intellectual honesty, the adult mind can function 
naturally, short of overt action. Each is a law unto 
itself, a "Kingdom of Heaven within" the mind. The 
living human individual, however, is an inseparable 
mind-body. The organic body is an integral unit in 
a world of objects, where the individual must "Live, 
and move, and have his being." The physical object 
resists displacement, and the living object resents 
being pushed about. The individual mind is some- 
how dependent upon the normal functioning of its 
organic body, and through it upon the objective 
world. The moment the mind-body is involved in 
outward behavior the individual contacts the ob- 
jective world, and freedom is limited by these con- 
tacts. Moreover, the unit of the human social world 
is not the individual, but the family. The family is 
the biological source of human love, which Jesus and 
his disciples believed to be the greatest religious 
power in the human world. The family gives the 
rawest example of individual human hunger, naked- 
ness, distress and helplessness, which Jesus believed 
afford the test of love. 

The family, as a biological unit, comprises two 
parents and a child. The basic examples of love near- 
est their biological origins are, the love between 
the devoted parents, and the love of the mother for 
her child. Both examples are certainly closely related 


to erotic passion, which is implemented by sex, 
nature's provision for perpetuating and preserving 
the race. Hunger the paramount urge of the infant 
child, is nature's instinct for self-preservation. The 
child, hungry, naked, helpless, its first expression a 
cry of distress, is the supreme example of human 
need. The love between the parents is mutual, and 
is the love of one personality for another. The love 
of the mother for her child, is the love of a person- 
ality for her needy and helpless offspring, that 
knows its mother only as the source of food and 
comfort. The love of the parents for each other, 
and the love of the mother for her child differ 
greatly in their objects however akin they may be 
in organic origins and implementation. This dif- 
ference of objects is of great importance and sig- 
nificance as a pointer to possibilities of love in 
subsequent experience. 

Love certainly develops and grows in continuous 
experience, and comes to envelop additional objects. 
The father's love for the mother of his child en- 
velops the child. The parents' love for their children 
extends to the playmates and the friends of their 
children. The child soon recognizes the source of 
its self-satisfaction and rewards the mother's at- 
tention and care with expressions of tenderness and 
kindliness. These child responses develop into an 
affection and attachment for the mother which, 
outwardly at least, seems not different from love. 
Inwardly, however, the child responses differ from 
love ; they express sheer self-satisfaction. An infant 
child, bereft of its own mother, will readily adopt 
another and learn the same affection for her it 
would have for the natural mother. The adopted 
mother, likewise, learns to lavish the same care and 
attention upon the child not her own offspring. 
Only a mother who had had both a natural an an 
adopted child would be competent to compare her 
love for her own child with her feeling and interest 


for the adopted child. Child-love, certainly not en- 
tirely mature before the age of puberty, may show 
great fluctuation toward objects of love until mar- 
riage establishes a pair. Even then there may be 
reversions to the freedom of unconventional living. 
Much light is thrown upon non-humanized love by 
studies of animal behavior, which, by contrast, 
illumines humanized love. 

There are three other characters of the mind-body 
as fundamental and organic as love and hunger. 
These are animal excitement, or emotion, which 
fluctuates in tones of pleasantness, and fear and 
anger, which, the one or the other, in some degree 
is ever present in all activity. The adult mind has 
learned by experience some control over emotion, 
fear and anger, and often strives for inhibition. 
Emotion, fear and anger complicate human activities 
and human relations, but apparently are necessary 
characters of normal organic functioning. There 
are many names in use for types and degrees of 
these characters: such as, feeling for emotion, 
caution for fear, and indignation for anger. The 
autonomic and sympathetic nerve systems which 
control the vegetative functions of the human or- 
ganism, are linked into the cerebro-spinal system. 
Thus the cerebro-spinal system which controls 
directly the voluntary-muscles, has some indirect in- 
fluence over the vegetative functions. The cerebro- 
spinal-nerve-muscle mechanism which implements 
the unification of the organic functions of the body 
is also the mechanism involved in all perception and 

Perception and ideation are characterized by 
memory and imagination which give their backward 
and forward look. They are never disassociated 
from some type and degree of organic action. 
When action is at a minimum the mind exercises 
simply as attitude. Attitudes are conduct in pre- 
vision and miniature. Here is the realm of religious 


influence. Here is intelligent conduct in the making. 
Often it is wasted in wish and desire, but religion 
dare not enter conduct openly, except as persuasion 
and example. Otherwise religion again makes itself 
the subject of statutory law. 

The individual family soon finds itself linked into 
a community through the common interests of 
neighboring families. These common interests are 
both economic and cultural, and lead to increasingly 
larger and larger communities. Common interests, 
however, do not cease to be individual interests, and 
individually implemented. Many individuals may co- 
operate in the activities which affect the objects of 
interest, and the objects are shared. These relations 
characterize all avenues of civilized living. So in- 
tricate do human interests and activities become 
that the objects of the activities and interests be- 
come inseparable, except in thought; and even in 
thought are often problematic. In theory, all objects 
of human interests may be classed as physical or 
personal, and hence the interest in them be traced 
to a felt need for food, clothes, shelter, home, proper- 
ty and wealth, or to some type and degree of love. 
We have many names for these types and degrees 
of love, such as friendliness, sympathy, kindliness, 
pity, helpfulness, affection, respect, deference, ado- 
ration, reverence, and so on. In practice, the clas- 
sification of the objects of common interests into 
physical and personal is very vulnerable. Person- 
ality seems to expand and engulf all the objects of 
interest, as if the individual mind were not only 
dependent upon the organism, but also upon all ob- 
jects that excite in it feeling and attention. This 
tends to make individual personalities inter-de- 
pendent. All human relations become much like that 
between child and mother. (To be continued) 


Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. DeGroot 

Exactly 650 members, plus 98 SCROLL subscribers, 
plus several exchanges with libraries and other peri- 
odicals — ^that is the standing of the CI at this mo- 
ment. Forty-three new members have been added 
since last August, and the total should reach 700 
before the next annual meeting. 

Mrs. E. M. Bowman of the Ambassador Hotel, 
Chicago, wonders how she could have been (past 
tense — check enclosed) delinquent when she never 
knew she was a subscriber, and solves the problem 
correctly, I surmise, by saying Dr. Ames is respons- 
ible. Perhaps one definition of true friendship is: 
When you can enroll others as subscribers and be 
appreciated for it! 

Henry Pearce Atkins, Cincinnati, sends unsolicited 
money to pay through the 50th anniversary in 1946. 
Now I can't dun him for so long ! Ray Hunt of Tex- 
arkana, USA (note with what modesty Texas ad- 
dresses are written) surrenders two iron men be- 
cause, says he, "the perseverance of the saints al- 
ways wins." A different reaction is that of C. C. 
McCaw, Austin, Minn., who opines ; 

Here are your two dollars, 

I hope it stops your digs and hollers ; 

But it has been lots of fun 

To see scientific begging done ! 

The Institute is rich in the merit of its patriarchs 
who know why they are Disciples. This occurs to 
me as I sit at the receipt of custom from two noble- 
men of the faith, A. D. "Daddy" Veatch, of Des 
Moines, and C. H. Winders of Bridgeport, Indiana. 
These men fought the battle for freedom of research 


Vol. XLI. MAY, 1944 No. 9 

The twenty years covered by the organized life 
of the Campbell Institute include both the most 
stimulating period in the story of the modern 
church, and the most eventfid epoch in the history 
of the Disciples of Christ. . . . 

The application of the scientific principle in the 
natural ivorld led also to its recognition in the field 
of history and literature. The neiv sciences of 
archaeology, textual criticism, historical and lit- 
erary criticism and comparative religion came into 
being. . . . The outcome has been of the utmost im- 
portance to the students of the Bible and the Chris- 
tion religion. . . . The Bible as a result of these criti- 
cal studies is not less divine but more human. 

But they (the Disciples of Christ) also have their 
unique task and testimony. This is the joy and duty 
of insisting upon the unity of the people of God; 
the divisive and unnecessary character of all hu- 
man creeds as tests of fellowship; the right of per- 
sonal interpretation in the use of the Scriptures; the 
exemplification of the ideals of the apostolic church 
in faith, spirit and service; the simplicity of the 
gospel as the message of salvation to all mankind; 
and refusal to impose any other test upon those who 
present themselves as candidates for the Christiayi 
life, or for any form of Christian service, than the 
apostolic confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the 
Son of God and the Savior of the ivorld. 

In loyalty to this inheritance and to these funda- 
mental principals of our faith, as members of the 
great felloivship of believers throughout all the 
world, and as Disciples of Christ with a majestic in- 
heritance and a thrilling opportunity, we undertake, 
like David of old, the high task of serving our gen- 
eration by the grace of God before ive fall asleep. . 
H. L. Willett, Introduction to Progress, Anniversary Volume 

of the Campbell Institute. 


Herbert Lockwood Willett 

A Memorial Service 

University Church of Disciples of Christ, Chicago 

Sunday, April 23, 1944 

Reading and Invocation, by Irvin E. Lunger 

Let US call to remembrance one great and good, 
through whom the Lord hath wrought great glory : 
a leader of the people by his judgment, giving 
counsel by his understanding and foresight; wise 
and eloquent in his teachings, and, through knowl- 
edge and might, a fit helper of the people. 

The memorial of virtue is immortal because it is 
known with God and with men. When it is present 
men take example of it, and when it is gone they 
earnestly desire it. It weareth a crown, and is tri- 
umphant forever — having gotten the victory striv- 
ing for undefiled rewards. 

The righteous shall be in everlasting remem- 
brance, and the memory of the just shall be blessed. 
Though the righteous be overtaken by death, they 
shall be at rest — their souls are in the hand of 
God. Though they perish from the sight of men 
yet is their hope full of immortality. 

Here remember we one whose life was love writ 
large. He added greatly to our understanding of 
Paul's words, "Love is very patient, very kind. 
Love knows no jealousy. Love makes no parade, 
gives itself no airs, is never rude, never selfish, 
never irritated, never resentful. Love is never glad 
when others go wrong. Love is gladdened by good- 
ness, always slow to expose, always eager to believe 
the best, always hopeful, always patient. Love never 

Here renew we our faith in his faith that "it is 
love not death that has the final word." 

"A noble life, a simple faith, an open heart and 
hand — these are the lovely litanies which all men 
understand. These are the firm knit bonds of grace. 


though hidden to the view, which bind in sacred 
brotherhood all men the whole world through. The 
cries of clashing creeds are heard, on every side 
they sound, but no age is degenerate in which such 
lives are found." 

Grant unto us, God, in this hour, the quiet 
confidence and the steadfast faith which has become 
our heritage of righteousness through Christ Jesus 
and his saints. Amen. 

Address by Charles Clayton Morrison 

We have come together to celebrate a great and 
gracious life. We cannot disguise or repress the 
sorrow of our hearts that the long familiar figure 
of Dr. Willett will move no more in our midst. But 
our sorrow is transcended by gratitude, a gratitude 
which outruns grief and hallows it. We are united 
in our thanksgiving to God for having given us 
one who was so rare a companion, and father, and 
friend, and minister, and teacher, and colleague, and 
leader, through so many years, and whose works, 
though he has fallen asleep do follow him. 

It was my memorable good fortune to come with- 
in the orbit of Dr. Willett's influence in my under- 
graduate college days, in 1895, when he was himself 
just emerging as a public figure. Through all the 
years our association in church and public life and 
in personal friendship has been uninterrupted and 
intimate. You will wish me, I am sure, to retrace 
some of the steps of his career as well as to inter- 
pret some of the qualities which gave significance 
to his leadership. 

For those who participated in the church life of 
the period which included the last decade of the 
nineteenth century and the first two decades of the 
twentieth, the passing of Herbert L. Willett revives 
inspiring and even romantic memories. This period 
was marked by the emergence of what came to be 


called "liberalism" in Christian thought. The church 
was disturbed by two issues which had been thrust 
upon it by the new learning. One of these issues 
involved the scientific doctrine of evolution; the 
other turned upon critical or historical study of the 
Bible. The new biological science and the new 
method of biblical interpretation confronted the 
church with new conceptions of nature and of 
revelation. Professor Henry Drummond in Great 
Britain became the popular exponent of evolutionary 
science in relation to the Christian faith. Dr. Willett 
became the pre-eminent popular expositor of the 
new biblical learning. The position of the two men 
was strikingly analogous. The analogy extends to 
their personal qualities as well as to their public 
roles. Drummond's biographer said that writing the 
story of his hero's life was like "writing the history 
of a fragrance." I have the same feeling in telling 
the story of Herbert L. Willett. 

Professor Willett was introduced to the historical 
study of the Bible under the inspiring instruction 
of William Rainey Harper at Yale University. When 
Harper left Yale to found the University of Chi- 
cago, he brought his promising student with him to 
Chicago to finish his graduate work here. The 
Divinity School of the new institution became the 
center of the new method of biblical study in this 
country. President Harper's own classrooms were 
crowded. The interest was intense. Controversy 
naturally ensued. The churches were disturbed. 
Were these new conceptions destined to destroy faith 
or to liberate it? 

Even before Dr. Willett received his degree and 
became professor of Semitic languages and liter- 
ature at the University of Chicago, he found him- 
self launched on a career of preaching and lecturing 
on the Bible, a career which was destined through 
a quarter of a century to take him into every part 
of America. He was already an experienced public 
speaker, having held a successful pastorate before 


going to Yale, and was well known in his own de- 
nomination. On Lyceum and Chautauqua platforms, 
in churches and colleges, and before all sorts of 
gatherings, he conducted series of lectures for a 
week or longer unfolding the Scriptures in the new 
light which historical study had thrown upon them. 
The people flocked in thousands to hear him. He 
literally brought the Bible to life again for multi- 
tudes to whom its contents had been sealed by the 
inflexible literalism of its traditional handling. 

The American pulpit and platform had never 
produced a figure quite like him. Many elements 
combined to account for the magical sway which 
he exercised over his audiences. Basically, of course, 
he commanded confidence by his erudition as a spe- 
cialized scholar of the Bible itself and of the lan- 
guages, the history and the culture out of which the 
books of the Bible came. To this specialized knowl- 
edge he brought a mind richly furnished from child- 
hood with the treasures of English and classic lit- 
erature. All the poets were his friends. His com- 
munion with them was not impeded by the constant 
need of resorting to their books, for their great- 
est lines were stored in his amazing memory. He 
brought the literature of the Bible into juxtapo- 
sition with the great literature of the ages, and 
thus illustrated the dictum that one does not know 
the Bible who knows the Bible alone. 

But there were more distinctive qualities which 
made Dr. Willett the most effective and fruitful 
public interpreter of the Scriptures which the 
American church had produced. These were qualities 
of his person. As a public speaker, nature had en- 
dowed him with all the graces — of voice, manner, 
sincerity of appeal, fluency of utterance, an intuitive 
sense of the response of his audience and an inde- 
finable personal charm. No one who did not hear 
him in the days of his power can appreciate the 
memory of those who sat under the spell of his 


quiet, self-poised eloquence. He never cried aloud. 
He was never contentious. He did not beat the air. 
He spoke always without pressure of effort. 

The arts of the platform and pulpit were totally 
uncultivated — they were native to him. His spirit 
and manner in private conversation or in a small 
company were the same as those he exhibited in 
public address. His friends who knew him inti- 
mately over long years of association search their 
memories in vain for any occasion on which he be- 
lied the impression made when the eyes and ears of 
a great audience were focused upon him. His self- 
integration commanded confidence. He was inward- 
ly adjusted and unified in a rare degree. 

Ample opportunity for the display of a different 
self, had there been one, was afforded during the 
past twenty-five years while he suffered an affliction 
which curtailed his activity in mid-career, plung- 
ing him into recurrent periods of excruciating pain. 
Through all these years of extreme suffering, his 
self -discipline never failed. He seemed to see him- 
self and his work in a broad perspective which made 
petulance or self-pity impossible. Between these 
innumerable recurrent attacks he returned to his 
work, to his friends and to his public life with his 
strength depleted but the quality of his spirit un- 

This tribute is not merely a characterization 
prompted by the affection of an intimate colleague 
of many years, and therefore biased. Thousands 
will testify to its truth, notably his students and 
the men and women of the churches to which he 
successively ministered collaterally with his profes- 
sorship and his far-extended public career on the 
lecture platform. Further and even more impres- 
sive confirmation would be found in Dr. Willett's 
unique influence upon a whole generation of minis- 
ters of the Disciples of Christ, the denomination to 
which he gave his lifelong devotion. It would be no 


exaggeration to say that in his personality there 
was lifted up a new standard by which a large 
proportion of the younger ministers of that gener- 
ation measured their qualifications, both educational 
and spiritual. He set this standard not by conscious 
intention, but simply by being what he was. 

It is doubtful that the ministry of any other large 
denomination has been so profoundly impressed and 
changed by the influence of a single personality. 
Thrust early into the focus of denominational at- 
tention by the controversy which arose over his 
views and continued for a quarter of a century, his 
scholarship, character and personality had the force 
of a new personal ideal for a large proportion of 
the ministers of that generation. 

It did something to the consciousness of young 
ministers and candidates for the ministry when 
Professor Willett stood before them manifestly with 
an outlook and an intellectual command which the 
Disciples' schools were not equipped to provide. He 
not only inspired them with scholarly ambitions, but 
the graces of his character, his modesty and urban- 
ity, the magnificent courage, patience and poise with 
which he bore the slings and arrows of bitter oppo- 
sition, drew them to him with a devotion touched 
with a kind of reverence. Hundreds and hundreds 
of ministers, among them many who became his 
peers in scholarship, would testify that in their in- 
most hearts they carry the image of Herbert L. 
Willett as a human model of the kind of minister 
they aspire to be. 

For many years. Dr. Willett was closely associated 
with The Christian Century. For a time he was the 
editor of its predecessor, the Christian Oracle. After 
the refounding of The Christian Century, in 1908, 
his cooperation with the inexperienced young editor 
was an asset which he allowed to be capitalized for 
a time by the inclusion of his name as one of the 
editors. Thirteen books came from his pen during 
the years, among them a little gem which he called 


The Ruling Quality, whose mood and spiritual in- 
sight further supports the analogy which I have 
suggested -between him and Henry Drummond 
whose book on Love, The Greatest Thing in the 
World, first brought fame to its author. 

Professor Willett's writings were characterized 
by the same chastity of language, the same flowing 
and easy movement, the same finess of feeling which 
gave distinction to his public address. It was prob- 
ably in his rare sensitivity to the language of de- 
votion that the graces of his spirit and style ap- 
peared at their best. His prayers in the pulpit were 
especially treasured by the members of his congre- 
gations. His mind was saturated with the Psalms, 
most of which he knew by heart, with the great 
utterances of the prophets who were at the center 
of his scholarly speciality, and with the immortal 
words of Jesus. This equipped him with an incom- 
parable vehicle for the expression of the timeless 
aspiration of the human spirit and the everlasting 
need of repentance before God. 

Gathering up the fruits of this rich and abundant 
life, one is amazed at the wideness of the field in 
whose various soils its roots were thrust. It is un- 
necessary in this presence to recount the incredibly 
long list of his activities. For more than twenty 
years, illness slowed him down but could not stop 
him. The glamorous days of his popular successes 
were behind him, but in lesser roles he continued 
to serve the great interests which claimed his loyalty. 

Yet in the moment of taking his final leave, he 
was in the midst of a radiant revival of his former 
success as a lecturer on the Book of Books. You 
will be grateful, I am sure, if I add a word concern- 
ing the circumstances of his passing. A year ago, 
while in Winter Park, Florida, he was asked by the 
minister of the Congregational Church to give ten 
lectures over a period of ten weeks preceding Easter. 
Despite the admonitory concern of those closest to 


him, he accepted. His hearers grew in the first three 
evenings from a company of classroom size to a 
full house, and the series closed with the whole com- 
munity under the spell of his messages. 

This year, the same request and the same accept- 
ance. A letter from one of his hearers reports that 
a thousand auditors packed the church on the open- 
ing night and returned each week to hear this great 
teacher whose eightieth birthday was only a few 
weeks ahead. They heard nine lectures. Then before 
the final lecture could be given, Professod Willett 
was suddenly called from this life, and the tenth 
evening was devoted to a memorial service conducted 
by the minister of the church and three former 
secretaries of the Federal Council of Churches. 

One can well believe that he could have wished for 
no happier leave-taking. It was as if time had for 
a moment relaxed its inexorable hand and gently 
led him back to taste again the joy that once had 
filled his cup to overflowing. His golden voice will 
linger long in the hearts of all who ever heard him 
speak of the Word of God. Most gratefully, how- 
ever, will he be remembered for the "white flower 
of a blameless life" which he wore through all the 
years with utterly unconscious grace. Today, in this 
sacrament of memory, we offer our gratitude to God 
who gave him to us. 

Address by Edward Scribner Ames 

For many years Dr. Willett has advocated the dis- 
continuance of the conventional funeral service, and 
for himself requested that any memorial service 
should be as simple as possible omitting any display 
of flowers, any special music, unless it be one of the 
great hymns of the church sung by the whole con- 
gregation. He wished the memorial service to be 
"marked by the note of quiet confidence and Chris- 
tian faith. It is a time for congratulation, not for 
sorrow." It is in keeping with his wish that in re- 


membering him today we should free our minds as 
much as possible from the shadows and pain which 
death has brought and allow ourselves to think free- 
ly and intimately of his wonderful personality, of 
his profoundly Christian character, and of the influ- 
ences that have radiated so widely by his spoken 
and written words and by what he has created and 
built among us. 

Dr. Willett is known to us as such a fluent preach- 
er, so poised and masterful, that we scarcely think 
of him as one who ever had to learn confidence and 
eloquence. It is of special interest therefore to read 
his own account of his first sermon which I per- 
suaded him to write ten years ago. In that brief 
statement he relates that he had no intention, in his 
teens, of becoming a minister though the influence 
of the family and especially of his mother was in 
that direction. He went to Bethany College still un- 
settled as to what he would do. In Bethany he was 
most drawn to teaching and his first sermon was 
occasioned by the request of a cousin early in the 
week that Herbert preach for him "next Sunday." 
It was a little church twelve miles from Bethany, 
at West Middleton, Pennsylvania. It was the custom 
of the student preachers to ride on horse back to 
their appointments. His cousin had a riding horse 
and they decided in order to save expense "to ride 
and tie." That meant that they would take turns 
riding and after going two or three miles leave the 
horse tied by the roadside for the other to ride. 
Herbert had written his sermon but had not memor- 
ized it, thinking, as he says, that he could "come 
within striking distance of the main points." But 
when it came time for the sermon he was "scared 
to oblivion. . . . The major points in the line of 
thought seemed as elusive and as far apart as the 
'tying' posts of the previous day." As they walked 
back to their stopping place, his cousin was strange- 
ly reticent. At last, he said, "Bert, why didn't you 
finish your sermon?" I said, "Why, how long did I 


speak?" He said, "Eleven minutes." That was his 
first sermon and on the way back to the college he 
decided it would be his last. 

Fortunately it was not his last. I have recently 
read his last published sermon, the title of which is, 
My Religion. It gathers up the ripe thought and 
the deep convictions of his long and brilliant minis- 
try of nearly sixty years. The text is, "I am not 
ashamed of the gospel of Christ ; for it is the power 
of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes." 
It is really a confession of faith in answer to a re- 
quest of his congregation in the Kenilworth Union 
Church. He reviews the great essentials of religion. 
Significantly the first declaration is, "I believe in 
Jesus Christ. I put this fact first," he says, "because 
it determines all the rest ... it is the basic fact of 
the church's belief. One is Christian in virtue of 
his belief in the reasonableness and finality of Jesus' 
interpretation of life." 

"I believe in God . . . My faith in God rests not, 
however, upon the picture presented in the Old 
Testament, nor upon the dreams and convictions of 
the nations and the centuries. It rests rather upon 
the witness of Jesus. ... He never undertook to 
prove the reality of God. . . . His companionship 
with the Father was his perennial inspiration and 
the secret of his undepleted vitality. He did not 
regard this relationship as unique or exclusive. He 
desired all his friends to share his experience of 
intimacy with the God he loved." 

"I believe in the Bible. . . . The men who wrote 
it were prophets, priests, sages, psalmists, apostles 
and apocalyptists whose lives were touched by the 
vision of truth, and whose souls were fired with the 
passion to declare it." 

"I believe in the church. ... Its central truth and 
perennial confession is the divine character and 
saviorhood of the Lord. Less and less does it demand 
any other article of faith than this apostolic 


"I believe in regeneration. ... In some true sense 
all who catch the vision of the kingdom of God and 
consecrate themselves to its holy tasks are 'twice 
born men'." 

"I believe in the Life Eternal. ... In the drama 
of our passing years it is love and not death that 
has the final word." "And so I believe in the 
Christian religion. ... It has not attained to its 
fullness, nor is it already made perfect. It is for- 
ever unsatisfied with present attainments, and is 
covetous of a social order wherein righteousness, 
justice, brotherliness and good will shall have the 
right of way — such an order as may truly be called 
the Kingdom of God." 

This religion of Dr. Willett was eloquently ex- 
pressed in many books and sermons and class room 
lectures but it was nowhere so vital and im.pressive 
as in his own life. He was the most Christlike man 
I have ever known. His one great purpose was to 
radiate this religion but his unconscious embodiment 
of the spirit of the Master was his greatest crown 
and glory. Often, for one who knew him well, some 
apt characterization of the religion of Jesus, led the 
mind at once to think how the life of the preacher 
gave a greater dimension of reality than his words 
could possibly reveal. When I read in one of his 
sermons that, "The service of Christ can only be 
performed by one who is himself enriched by the 
indwelling Christ" I thought immediately how true 
that was of Dr. Willett himself, and how totally un- 
aware he himself was of the fact that his own 
character gave such great force to his words. An 
illustration of this may also be felt in what he said 
in a sermon on, The Serenity of Christ, His words 
are, "It is apparent that the serenity of Jesus was 
not the result of withdrawal from the conflict into 
which men are thrown, but was a masterful and 
fixed quality of nature against which the surges of 
human passion, hatred, calumny and opposition beat 


in vain, and which equally resisted those forces still 
harder to meet, the appeals of mistaken affection 
and self-seeking love. He was always gentle and 
serene . . . Serenity does not depend on the absence 
of disturbing and contrary experiences, but on a 
quality of nature which retains its self-command and 
abides, not unconcerned, but unreached, above the 

In a sermon on. The Humility of Christ, he quoted 
Wordsworth's fine lines regarding Milton, and I 
quote them here as uniquely applicable to our friend : 

"Thy soul was like a star and dwelt apart : 

Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea; 

Pure as the naked heaven, majestic, free; 

So didst thou travel on life's common way 

In cheerful godliness ; and yet thy heart 

The lowliest duties on itself did lay." 

"Cheerful godliness" was never better exemplified 
than in his life. Around the fireside in his summer 
cottage at Pentwater all the summer colony found it 
a delightful privilege to gather, especially on Sunday 
evenings, and listen to stories of his travels in the 
Holy Land, or of his experiences with audiences and 
individuals in various places where he lectured and 
preached. We sang together, children, youth, and 
older people, the great hymns of the ages, and these 
he usually led without the need of the hymn book 
for his marvelous memory retained them as on the 
printed page. As easily also he would repeat great 
poetry at surprising length. He never declaimed but 
spoke as one who expressed what his soul had long 
cherished and fed upon. 

His "cheerful godliness" made him admirably op- 
timistic. He believed the truth could win, even in 
such a world as this, but he knew it was difficult and 
the battle often strangely disappointing. There was 
a depth and power of faith in him to which he clung 
with unwavering fidelity. The fortitude with which 
he bore his own physical suffering and kept faith- 


fully at his work is an index to the confident spirit 
in which he labored for the cause of Christianity. 
Through the years we have seen him many times 
brought low by arthritis but never giving up or be- 
coming despondent. It was painful for him to walk 
and to climb stairs but at Pentwater, in the summer, 
every Sunday morning he would take the long walk 
from his cottage to the garages at the foot of the 
hill in order to get to church in the village. It 
seemed to make no difference in his going what the 
service or who the minister was to be. He Jbelieved 
in the church and any Christian place of worship 
enabled him to have fellowship with the great com- 
pany of saints, apostles, prophets, and martyrs, as 
well as with his fellow Christians present at the 
moment. For those less stalwart he never made pro- 
test but the sight of him painfully but cheerfully 
making his way to the House of God stirred the 
conscience of the spectator and left a lasting im- 

This indefatigable habit of church going was also 
a silent but effective evidence of his deep conviction 
about Christian union. The differences between the 
churches were to him superficial and almost indif- 
ferent as compared with the profound things of the 
common faith in all Christian hearts. He was not 
only one of the noted modern apostles of union. He 
was a living example and witness for it. The very 
spirit of it was in him and people of all denomi- 
nations felt it and welcomed him into their fellow- 
ship. Although he was active in national and local 
union organizations he knew that the indispensable 
thing was catholicity of mind and heart in individual 

It seems no less than tragic that his own com- 
munion from which he drew much of his devotion to 
the cause of union should not more generally have 
followed his leadership. Sometimes it seemed that 
his very devotion to their cause, and his ready ex- 
emplification of it aroused their suspicion that he 


was too generous in promoting the wider fellowship. 
But even such misunderstanding, and misdirected 
criticism, did not embitter his soul or lessen his 
labor. He bore even this with the same patient 
fortitude and confident devotion as he manifested 
in advancing with painful footsteps on any earthy 
path he trod. It was his will to advance, to follow 
the way ahead and to feel assurance that it led to 
a compensating destination. 

In the great enterprises of religion he mainfested 
the same undaunted faith. His sense of fruitful 
possibilities was what men often call intuitive. He 
initiated, or joined with others in creating and de- 
veloping institutions of many kinds which will con- 
tinue through the long future to bless his memory 
and to serve mankind. Few men have succeeded in 
identifying themselves by such prophetic vision 
with so many significant ventures and lived long 
enough to see those ventures mature into perman- 
ence and power. He organized a little congregation 
which has become this strong and widely influential 
church; he inaugurated a unique educational plan 
here to afford Disciple students the highest uni- 
versity training for the ministry; he shared in the 
development of the greatest interdenominational 
religious journal; he made Christian union realistic 
through church federations and an association for 
the promotion of union. He was active in the de- 
velopment of the Federal Council of Churches of 
Christ in America and a faithful member of the 
Executive Committee through many years. In all 
these fields his spirit and ideas were so persuasive 
that he drew into understanding cooperation men 
who were glad to do the more routine tasks of 
raising money and doing the necessary chores. His 
wasthe vision and the farseeing faith which gave 
guidance and assurance. Hundreds of ministers, 
teachers, and laymen are testifying to their indebt- 
edness to him for teaching their minds and stirring 


their hearts with more adequate and appealing con- 
ceptions of the religious life. 

In this fiftieth year of the University Church 
which he organized, and of the Disciples Divinity 
House which he founded, great numbers of men and 
women will remember what he has done for them. 

I have already received scores of beautiful and 
moving tributes from his former students and 
friends. One says, "It was the great good fortune 
of a vast host of persons to feel a new strength in 
themselves as he passed by." Another says, "Al- 
though I never had a course under him, he was my 
teacher; he was never my pastor and I heard him 
give only one sermon, but he ministered to me." An 
unusually succssful preacher and pastor writes, "Dr. 
Willett has been one of my ideals across the years." 
A nationally known business man writes, "The in- 
spiration which I received from Dr. Willett, both 
through his books which I have in my library and 
through his personal influence in my contacts with 
him, has meant much in the development of my 
character and personal philosophy." A young 
college professor says, "He will always be an in- 
spiration to the younger preachers who knew him, 
not only among Disciples, but also as he would wish, 
among other communions as well." 

A venerable university president quotes the fol- 
lowing lines as fitting his estimate of Dr. Willett: 
"In admiration of his peers 

In respect of his people. 

In affection of his family, 

His was the highest place. 

The just meed. 

Of his kindness and forbearance. 

His brilliant genius and unwearied industry. 

Unmoved by opinion, 

Unseduced by flattery, 

Undismayed by disaster 

He confronted life with antique courage. 

And death with Christian Hope." 


The book of Dr. Willett's life is not closed. We 
had planned to have him speak to us in the jubilee 
celebrations this year of these two institutions, the 
church and the school which he founded, but we 
shall feel his influence all the more because he will 
speak to us from greater heights, and with the 
finality of so long and so great a life now translated 
into new light and multiplied power. His living 
words are with us. His living spirit dwells in myriad 
hearts. He has gained all the forms of immortality 
most surely known to our human faiths and hopes. 



Let us thank God for the gift of life, and for the 
light of eternity that shines upon it from the face 
of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Let us thank God for all men of faith and vision, 
whose wisdom guides us, and whose devotion to 
truth as they have seen it inspires us to seek truth. 

Let us hold in grateful remembrance those seers 
and saints who have taught righteousness by word 
and by example, who have upheld justice and done 
mercy, and who have striven to bring concord among 

Let us see the goodness of God manifested in the 
gentleness and generosity of those who love their 
fellow men sincerely and serve them unselfishly. 

Let us thank God for lives which add beauty and 
grace to virtue. 

Let us be grateful for the long succession of such 
splendid and radiant spirits, and the heritage with 
which they have endowed us ; and especially for one 
who lately left our sight, who stood within this com- 
pany, and who was our friend. 

We thank thee, God, for every disclosure of thy- 
self — in Nature's laws, in prophet's word, in the 


incarnate life, in our own experiences of joy and 
sorrow, and in the lives of men who have been 
illumined by thy light and have lived as in thy 

Thou hast made man but a little lower than thyself 
and hast crowned him with glory and honor — the 
honor of seeking truth, the glory of catching some 
glimpses of it; the honor of working with thee to 
give to human life something of the fullness of 
dignity and beauty thou didst intend when, in cre- 
ation's dawn, the morning stars sang together for 
joy in thy work, the glory of making some short 
steps of progress toward that high goal. 

But we are slow of heart and dull of mind. Each 
by himself can do little. We need the reinforcement 
of each other's insight and courage, and the strength 
thou dost give through the comradeship of like- 
minded friends. We thank thee that thou has made 
us capable of giving and receiving this mutual aid. 

We thank thee, too, that thou has given greater 
gifts of mind and heart to some, that they may be 
both friends and leaders. With special gratitude and 
solemn joy we think upon the loved friend who, 
having so long gone before us in all the good ways 
of life, has passed beyond our sight for a little while. 

When the ripe fruit falls, we can but thank thee 
for the harvest. 

Strength and beauty are in thy sanctuary, and in 
the lives of those who so live in the light of thy 
countenance. Establish thou the work of our hands 
upon us ; yea, the work of our hands, establish thou 
it. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon 
us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Hymn, "0 God our help in ages past," Sung by 
the congregation, led by B. Fred Wise. 



Tributes to Dr Willett 

President W. H. Cramblet, Bethany College, 
W. Va. : We join with you in paying tribute of re- 
spect and regard to Dr. Herbert Lockwood Willett. 
It is a fine idea for you to assemble words of appre- 
ciation of his life and work. 

With this in mind we are enclosing the presenta- 
tion and formula of award used in connection with 
the conferring of the Doctor of Laws on Dr. Willett 
at the Bethany Commencement in 1938. The presen- 
tation was made by Dr. W. Kirk Woolery, Provost 
and Professor of History. Dr. Woolery is a son of 
W. H. Woolery, one of Dr. Willett's teachers who 
later served as the third president of Bethany Col- 

These statements are in a sense official and repre- 
sent the high regard we had for Dr. Willett as a 
scholar and friend. 

Formula of Award 
Herbert Lockwood Willett 

Graduate of Bethany College in the class of 1886, 
scholar and author of influence and distinction, in 
recognition of distinguished service in the fields of 
education and religion, by the authority of the Board 
of Trustees of Bethany College, I confer upon you 
the degree of Doctor of Laws with all the rights and 
privileges appertaining thereto. 

June 6, 1938 W. H. Cramblet, President 

President Emeritus E. M. Waits, Texas Christian 
University, Fort Worth, Texas: Few men among 
the Disciples of Christ have exercised so powerful 
and permanent an influence. He was a man of rare 
charm and personality. His scholarship was rich 
and abundant. It was devoted to a wonderful inter- 
pretation of the Bible and all great literature. No 
man since the days of Thomas Campbell was a finer 
and saner advocate of Christian unity. His book. 


"The Bible Through the Centuries," is an unrivalled 
classic in its field. For many years he was criticized 
as an advocate of the new biblical learning, but un- 
disturbed he continued his magical sway over his 
audiences to the end. 

I can think of no higher tribute to Dr. Willett than 
the one paid by the citizens of South Carolina to one 
of their beloved citizens with whom they had often 
violently disagreed. 

"In admiration of his peers, 
In respect of his people, 
In affection of his family, 
His was the highest place. 
The just meed, 

Of his kindness and forbearance. 
His brilliant genius and unwearied industry. 
Unmoved by opinion, 
Unseduced by flattery, 
Undismayed by disaster 
He confronted life with antique courage, 
And death with Christian Hope." 

President R. B. Montgomery, Lynchburg College, 
Lynchburg, Va. : I cannot remember the day when 
I did not know of Dr. Willett through my father and 
Dr. Willett's writings. Although he was always an 
inspiring influence on my life, it was not until 1930 
and afterwards, when I had an opportunity for in- 
timate association with Dr. Willett, that I came to 
fully appreciate his great contribution to our Broth- 
erhood life and to education and religious leadership 
in America. 

I was always impressed by the range and depth of 
his thought and by the wisdom of his counsel to in- 
dividuals and to groups. He filled a unique place in 
American Protestant life and thought, and his con- 
tribution will be lasting. 

John Barclay, Aiistin, Texas: 1 am reminded of 
two contributions that Dr. Willett made to Disciples 


of North Carolina during my ministry at Wilson. He 
came down to the state convention when it was held 
at Washington, and gave a lecture to the preachers 
and three addresses to the convention, that not only 
highlighted the convention, but gave the whole three- 
day meeting a memorably spiritual tone. He gave 
the preachers insights that live to this day. His sec- 
ond contribution was giving the Commencement ad- 
dress at Atlantic Christian College about eight years 
ago. It was a state-wide gathering, and he made it 
an educational and spiritual experience for all pres- 
ent, that I am sure lingers on in their minds and 
hearts to this day. In the passing of Dr. Willett, a 
great soul will be missed everywhere that Disciples 
live in America. 

President H. G. Harmon, Drake University, Des 
Moines, Iowa: Some can stimulate the intellect; 
others quicken the spirit. Dr. Willett did both. To 
meet him was to be happier. To visit with him was 
to be wiser. This observation which grows out of 
a personal experience is, I believe, true of our 
Brotherhood. Dr. Willett contributed a spirit to us 
— a spirit of understanding ; of tolerance ; of loyalty 
— a spirit characterized by friendliness. He also 
brought to us an example of a disciplined mind 
which could be stern to itself but gracious to others ; 
humble because of confidence, and courageous be- 
cause he had seen and understood more of the 
world's needs than others. To have lived significant- 
ly is to have lived greatly. To many of us, the death 
of Dr. Willett was the passing of a great man. 

F. H. Groom, Cleveland, Ohio : In my college days 
Dr. Willett was just coming into prominence in the 
Brotherhood. He became one of my ideals and I 
have always been inspired by his addresses and writ- 
ings. But in later years, becoming more closely as- 
sociated with him, his fine spirit has endeared him to 
me beyond all expression. 


S. Vernon McCastland, Charlottesville, Virginia: 
The passing of Herbert L. Willett from the temporal 
scene only reminds us of the life which is eternal. 
Like the spirit of spring in these Virginia landscapes 
today, his gracious, wise, humility is very real to us. 
In the truest sense there can be only rejoicing in the 
completion of such a magnificent life. It was the 
great good fortune of a vast host of persons to feel a 
new strength in themselves as he passed by. I think 
we now have a better understanding of the Incarna- 

Clinton Lockhart, Fort Worth, Texas : Dr. Willett 
and I first met as fellow students in Yale University 
where we learned of the fine social qualities of both 
Dr. and Mrs. Willett. Later we were associated in 
work at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Here we especially 
noticed his brilliance as a public speaker. Most of 
all, I have admired the very thing for which he has 
been most criticised, his true and deep insight into 
the duty of the church to investigate the claims of 
scholars for a new interpretation of the Bible. His 
own fine scholarship did not allow him to stand in 
the path of a tide. 

Robert C. Lemon, Chicago, Illinois: The Chicago 
Disciples and the Chicago Church Federation have 
lost a faithful, loyal friend in the death of Herbert 
L. Willett. No one ever gave himself more thought- 
fully and unselfishly to the cause of Protestantism 
than he. He was indeed a prince of the church. 

Norman C. Crawford, Bloomington, Illinois: One 
of the greatest leaders in modern Christendom has 
gone from our midst. However, his kindly and gra- 
cious manner and his thorough Christian scholarship 
will remain in our memories. We can honor him 
best by carrying forward the great work which he 
has so ably done. 

Richard L. James, Richmond, Virginia : I remem- 
ber Dr. Willett as one of those outstanding personali- 


ties who helped make the Disciples House a habita- 
tion of congenial fellowship and by whose example 
we were inspired to attempt to go and do likewise. 
On one occasion, down in the room where the ping 
pong table is, we were browsing through the books 
and papers and ran across a notebook in which Dr. 
Willett had outlined one of his courese. There it was 
in his own hand writing. I read practically the 
whole notebook that day. We shall miss his writings 
and particularly his great spirit in our conventions 
and other meetings. 

R. H. Crossfield, Birmingham, Alabama: I regard 
the contribution Dr. Willett made to the Disciples as 
inferior to none in recent decades. His fertile mind 
and beautiful spirit permeated all he said and did, 
and led many to see the beauties of the Bible and the 
Christian religion as never before. His shadow will 
continue to lengthen with the passing years. His 
ministry came at a timely hour for the Disciples, and 
served to save the movement for the union of God's 
people from the strong currents of sectarianism 
that threatened to drive a free people into narrow 
and provincial channels. Association with him in 
the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in Ameri- 
ca, greatly deepened my regard for him as a perfect 
gentleman, scholar, and soldier. 

Burris Jenkins, Kansas City, Missouri: Dr. Her- 
bert Willett was one of my early heroes when a stu- 
dent at Bethany College. He was graduated before 
I went there and had gone on to Yale ; but he came 
•back now and then, and I admired him intensely 
and followed in his footsteps as nearly as I could. I 
have looked up to him all my life as a perfect gentle- 
man, a perfect scholar, a perfect public speaker, and 
a perfect friend. I loved him very deeply; and 
though I knew the time had come when we should 
have to bid him goodbye, still when the news did 
come it shocked me greatly. 


William Clayton Bower, Lexington, Ky.: The 
death of Dr. Willett has removed an impressive fig- 
ure from the horizon of the ecumenical church. But 
to the intimate fellowship of the Disciples and the 
House he was more than a finished scholar and a pro- 
phetic voice. He was an esteemed and beloved 
friend to those who had the privilege of sharing his 
association. Death has transmuted him into an abid- 
ing spiritual presence and enduring influence in the 
ongoing cause to which he devoted himself. 

S. Grundy Fisher, Indianapolis, Indiana: When I 
was a high school boy in Maryville, Missouri, Her- 
bert Willett gave a series of lectures in the Christian 
Church there on "The Minor Prophets" which liter- 
ally made the Bible a new book to me. For the first 
time I read it in the light of history. For the first 
time its characters became real men and women and 
experiences within the life of man. I thank God for 
this man and all the blessings beginning with this 
earliest thought he brought to me. 

John Rogers, Tulsa, Oklahoma: The inspiration 
which I have received from Dr. Willett, both through 
his books which I have in my library and through his 
personal influence in my contacts with him at our 
International Conventions, has meant much in the 
development of my character and personal philoso- 
phy. I read of his death with a deep sense of loss. 

W. E. Moore, Bloomington, Indiana: Many years 
ago Dr. H. L. Willett delivered the Baccalaureate 
sermon at Indiana University. As a Disciple, I was 
very proud that our religious group could offer a 
man of such charm and culture as Dr. Willett. He 
was a source of inspiration and encouragement to 
hundreds of young men in places of leadership 
among the Disciples of Christ. 

Sterling W. Brown, St. Louis, Missouri : Few peo- 
ple whom I have met have been such an inspiration 
as Dr. Herbert L. Willett. This is even more of a 


tribute to him when I recall that my associations 
with him have been casual. Although I never had a 
course under him, he was my teacher ; he was never 
my pastor and I heard him give only one sermon, 
but he ministered to me. Several years ago a retired 
minister (not nearly so old as Dr. Willett) came up 
to me and said, "Your ideas remind me of Dr. Her- 
bert L. Willett. He is the greatest pulpiteer in the 
Brotherhood." This was the greatest compliment I 
ever received on a sermon. I only wish that my life 
might remind people of Dr. Willett ! 

F. W. Bumham, Richmond, Virginia: For more 
than forty years I have admired and been inspired 
by Dr. Herbert L. Willett. We have been honored 
and blest by his presence as a guest in our home. His 
messages have inspired congregations where I have 
ministered, and five years ago he served as guest 
speaker for our Richmond Minister's Union at an 
"Institute of Christianity" to which our Jewish rab- 
bis were invited. The venerable and beloved Rabbi 
Edward N. Calisch, of Beth Ahaba Synagogue said 
of Dr. Willett's messages, "They couldn't have been 
better." He was truly a Prince in Israel. We shall 
miss him : but his memory will live. 

L. N. D. Wells, Dallas, Texas : Permit me to pay a 
word of tribute regarding our mutual friend, Her- 
bert L. Willett, who has just gone to his long home. 
Willett has been one of my ideals across the years. 
He paid the price of pioneering among us. Although 
he had a host of friends I personally feel that our 
brotherhood never gave to Dr. Willett the splendid 
recognition which he so richly deserved. He was 
among the first to give to us the broader vision. A 
grateful brotherhood now, I am sure, will recognize 
his worth, which it has not done previously. 

F. L. Jewett, Austin, Texas: From first to last, 
and that means many years, Dr. Willett has always 
been to me an ideal in grace, charm, sweetness of 


spirit, and rare beauty in manner. He was a Chris- 
tian gentleman and an unusual scholar ! 

J, W. McKinney, Winfield, Kansas: "The Bible 
Through the Centuries" will enhance the memory 
of Dr. Willett for many ministers who in their 
younger days were broadened by this scholarly pres- 
entation. This is my testimony. 

R. H. Miller, in the Christian Evangelist, April 
19, 1944: On March 28 at Winter Park, Fla., just 
before he was to have delivered the last of a series of 
popular lectures on his favorite theme, "The Bible: 
The Book of the Centuries," Herbert L. Willett 
quietly passed on in the fullness of years and 

It is a strange but not uncommon contradiction in 
human experience that one whose life was kindly 
and considerate, marked by high intelligence and 
purity of motives, should have been a center around 
whom swirled bitter controversies and stubborn re- 

But such oppositions were possible only by those 
who held themselves aloof from close association. To 
those who knew him as a friend and teacher and to 
thousands who thronged to hear his public lectures, 
Herbert Willett was an object of admiration and 
grateful affection. 

A master of Biblical criticism he brought the re- 
sults with singular persuasiveness to the "man in the 
street," but always with the purpose to remove shad- 
ows rather than to cast them on the clearness of 
Christian faith. "The authority of the Bible," he 
was fond of saying, "is the authority of the Supreme 
Life of which it speaks." 

When Dr. Willett was proposed for a place on the 
Centennial Convention Program in 1909, a storm of 
protest broke from ultra-conservatives. He was ac- 
cused of "infidelity and apostasy." The Committee 
stood firm and Dr. Willett spoke. 


His address on Thomas Campbell was a feature of 
the Convention. The spirit and understanding of 
his interpretation of the great champion of Christian 
unity were also autobiographical of the speaker. 

His patience and kindliness toward those who 
could not keep up with his eagerness to seek new 
light from the Bible and to remove all barriers to 
Christian unity won to his side many who earlier 
had been his unthinking critics. His gracious man- 
ner and forbearance under false accusation and his 
unaffected devotion to his brotherhood when effort 
was made to elbow him out of fellowship at last 
gained appreciation and love. 

A. D. Veatch, Drake University: It was during 
the last decade of the past century when, for the 
first time, I heard Herbert L. Willett in public ad- 
dress. Great throngs were listening to that young, 
vigorous, and eloquent preacher, in a city in north- 
ern Missouri. I have heard that magnificent voice 
many times since. The last time was in May, 1943, 
at the Central Church of Christ in Des Moines. The 
years had slowed down his energies, but Dr. Willett 
was the same great preacher. How the memory of 
that superb personality, that unsurpassed mastery 
of the public platform, that vast learning, and that 
power to marshal themes in logical sequence and 
without script, stirs the emotions of one who has al- 
ways admired the masters of great assemblies ! Dr. 
Willett offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than 
did many of his generation, and by it he yet speak- 

Charles S. Lohingier, Philadelphia, Penna.: Her- 
bert L. Willett was one of a trio whose work made 
known to me the Campbell Institute, over a third of 
a century ago. While my personal contacts with 
him were not numerous, as I was then stationed in 
the Far East, I soon learned to value his learning 
and his progressive outlook. The courtesy title of 
"Honorary Rabbi" which our Jewish friends gave 


him well expressed the attitude of those outside the 
Institute and was a tribute at once to his breadth 
and his scholarship. His activities were many, his 
achievements great and his passing leaves a real gap 
in the ranks of American religious liberal leaders. 
Edwin C. Boynton, Huntsville, Texas: A Brother- 
hood is amazed by the going of Herbert Lockwood 
Willett, so long a leading and inspirational force in 
public forum, college classroom and social circle. As 
a member of his First-year Hebrew group many 
years since, I feel yet his vigor and his sympathy. 
His voice still seems to echo from the Convention 
platform. His facile and scholarly pen presents the 
message of seasoned thought or fraternal appeal to 
the men and women who waited for his gifted word. 
His bereaved ones of the Willett home know the 
heart of a great religious people throbs with them 
as faith drops its sheltering charm about them. 

Alva W. Taylor, Nashville, Tenn. : Dr. Herbert L. 
Willett did more in our generation to commend the 
Disciples to the inter-denominational world than any 
man among us. His masterly lectures on Biblical 
themes, delivered with rare charm and effectiveness 
and heard by church people far and wide without 
reference to cult or creed, both commended the best 
in Disciple scholarship and breadth of spirit and re- 
lieved us of a widespread idea that we were a rather 
dogmatic, creed ridden sect. He was for some time 
a "prophet without (much) honor" among us but 
for years he was honored by increasing numbers 
among us. The Disciples would have honored them- 
selves and the Federal Council of Churches would 
have honored us had we insisted that he be honored 
with its presidency. 

Wm. B. Clemmer, St. Louis, MissouH : Dr. Willett 
will always be remembered by us for his gracious 
Christian spirit, his prophetic insight in Biblical 
understanding and interpretation, a pioneer in prac- 
tice of Christian unity. His brilliant platform pres- 


ence made him a greatly demanded speaker on broth- 
erhood programs and in general gatherings of the 
church. His powerful preaching, his writings in the 
modern mood with wide personal sympathies and 
fellowships, his charming personality — preacher, 
writer, editor. Christian leader, warm personal 
friend, God's gentleman! Mrs. Clemmer cordially 
joins me in this tribute to Dr. Willett whom she al- 
ways so highly regarded. 

Earl N. Griggs, Dayton, Ohio : On Nov. 3, 1940, 
Central Christian Church of Dayton, Ohio, dedicated 
its new plant and printed in its program for Dedica- 
tion this opening paragraph : "Let credit be given to 
whom credit is due. In 1889 Herbert L. Willett was 
pastor of this church. He did more than 'count every 
brick that went into this building,' he weighed every 
pulpit utterance in his accurate scales of honesty, 
that Truth might set his people free. From that dis- 
tant day down through the years to this present hour 
each pastor enjoyed liberty in preaching the gospel 
'for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the 
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.' " 
What if every church in our Brotherhood could have 
had the foundation that Herbert L. Willett laid for 
the Disciples in Dayton? 

Dean F. D. Kershner, Butler School of Religion: 
Herbert Lockwood Willett was regal in appearance 
and bearing and in his attitude toward contem- 
porary life. He never lost his poise, his self control, 
his consciousness of being, in a certain sense, above 
and beyond the battle. He moved with serenity and 
ease along paths which were cluttered with noisy 
and distracted souls. He had the scholar's apprecia- 
tion of the higher values and never lost sight of 
them. He lived harmoniously and thought it un- 
worthy of himself to sacrifice dignity for popularity. 
His philosophy, like that of the rest of us, will be 
tested by fire in the years to come. When the chaff 
is separated from the wheat, it will be time for a 


definite appraisal to be made. This is all that ought 
to be said about any man's views by those who do 
not wish to judge lest they also be judged. 

F. E. Davison, South Bend, Indiana: In 1909 I 
went to the Centennial convention as a college fresh- 
man and as an agent for the Christian Standard. 
That publication was each week pouring out vitu- 
perations against Herbert L. Willett. My curiosity 
was aroused so I slipped away from my f rientis and 
went to see and hear this "dangerous" man. To hear 
Dr. Willett was to be captivated by his speech, at- 
tracted by his devoted Christian character, and 
thrilled by his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. 

It was several years later before I met the man 
and many years before I came to know him for his 
true worth. For fifteen years I was intimately as- 
sociated with him in the Chicago area and it was in 
my church at South Bend that he gave what was 
perhaps his last series of Bi-ble lectures only a few 
months ago. In all those years I have never seen 
Dr. Willett off balance nor have I known ^ man who 
has had more influence for good upon my life. In 
my humble opinion no man, living or dead, has made 
a greater contribution to the spirit and life of the 
Disciples of Christ than has Dr. Willett and our 
Brotherhood should stand abashed at the stinginess 
with which honors were conferred upon this good 

His love of God, his intelligent understanding of 
the Bible, his sacrifices for the Kingdom, his vision 
of the ecumenical church, his miracles of generosity 
and goodwill even toward his enemies, his tireless 
labors while enduring his "thorn in the flesh" — all 
combine to make him worthy of canonization among 
the Disciples, I shall be among the first to bow 
down and thank God for Saint Herbert L. Willett. 

Perry J. Rice, Huntington Park, California : I first 
met Herbert L. Willett fifty eight years ago this 
coming fall, a few months after he graduated from 


Bethany college. He was then preaching for a coun- 
try church near North Eaton in Loraine County, 
Ohio, and came to Lafayette, Ohio, where I was born 
and reared, to attend a yearly meeting and I heard 
him preach. That was the week before I started to 
college and the impression he made on me was pro- 
found and lasting. Some years later I came to know 
him more intimately and for more than forty years 
I have had the rare privilege of fairly close fellow- 
ship with him. He has been the human inspirer of 
my life as a preacher and my teacher both in the lec- 
ture room and through his books which I have read 
with delight and profit. Better than all this it has 
been my delight for a quarter of a century to claim 
him as a friend and counselor. I am, therefore, find- 
ing it difficult to adjust myself to the fact that I shall 
not see his face again in this world. 

Speaking less personally I should like to express 
my conviction regarding the contribution he has 
made to contemporary Christianity. I doubt if it 
is possible to properly measure the extent of his in- 
fluence at the present time. He will have to be seen 
in longer perspective to be fully appreciated. But it 
will be agreed by all who knew him that he did make 
a contribution and that was important. As a mem- 
ber of the church'of the Disciples of Christ even in 
the face of determined and persistent opposition he 
introduced them to the critical method of approach 
to the Scriptures and led them to see many of its 
fruits. He was ardently devoted to the cause of 
Christian unity and advocated it to the end of his 
life. Loyal to the last degree to the particular fel- 
lowship to which he belonged he consciously lived in 
a more inclusive fellowship. All the followers of 
Christ were his brethren and he thought of them 
as such. 

He will be remembered, however for what he was 
rather than for any thing he ever said or did. Not 
many such men have passed this way, or, departing, 
have left a richer heritage. 


Roy G. Ross, Chicago, Illinois : It is a pleasure to 
pay tribute to the memory of Dr. H. L. Willett. 
Never have I known a more matchless combination 
of scholarship, statesmanship, teaching skill, and ca- 
pacity for friendship. My life has been greatly en- 
riched through such association with him as I have 
had opportunity to enjoy. 

Raymond Morgan, Lynchburg, Virginia: I shall 
always think of Dr. Willett as a kind of patron saint 
of all persons devoted to Christian unity. I shall al- 
ways remember the courage with which he ad- 
dressed the North Carolina convention of the Dis- 
ciples even after he had lost much of his physical 
strength. He will always be an inspiration to the 
younger preachers who knew him, not only among 
the Disciples, but also as he would wish it, among 
other communions as well. 

O. P. Spiegel, Montgomery, Alabama: I was very 
greatly shocked to hear of the sudden going away of 
my dear friend and brother. Dr. H. L. Willett. Ever 
since I was minister of the Northside church, now 
Ravenswood, and proof-reader of the Christian Cen- 
tury, in 1902, he and I have been the best of friends. 
We did not see everything alike but no two blades of 
grass are exactly alike. He was a fine scholar, a 
most interesting public speaker, and was always 
willing and anxious to cooperate in every good work. 
Please express my love and Christian sympathy to 
his dear wife, children and other loved ones. 

/. Allan Watson, Jefferson City, Missouri: To 
have had the privilege of knowing Dr. Willett is a 
great blessing. The keen thinking mind was a great 
stimulant. His kind and sympathetic understanding 
encouraged one. The contribution his leadership in 
thought has made to the Disciples is inestimable. 
He has helped to turn the faces of thousands of 
Disciples in the right direction. 

A. T. DeGroot, Drake University: The papers say 


that Herbert L. Willett is dead. Don't you believe a 
word of it. As sure as there is truth in the Chris- 
tian faith, he is alive today. The "great cloud of 
witnesses" has gained a new volunteer, and space 
and time as we know them separate us for the 
moment, but there has been no loss to the whole uni- 
verse of God in the step we call Dr. Willett's death. 

The Creator is not like man in that he would 
freight a great vessel with treasures for the sustain- 
ing of life, send it on a journey from one port toward 
another, only to permit it to be sunk and lost in the 
dark depths of the sea. We may wander from har- 
bor to strange harbor as we progress, and the point- 
less living of some may seem to deny a design in hu- 
man affairs, but the economy of God is true and in- 
violate. The education of every soul is the Grand 
Design of the universe. 

Herbert L. Willett believed that holiness may 
serve as one avenue of introduction to knowledge. 
A scholar of the highest order, who suffered count- 
less attacks by those who did not understand his 
faith, he retained a serenity and sympathy which are 
the measure of greatness. Truth and Love were 
goals which charted his course regardless of the 
lesser loyalties of his day. 

These reflections occur as I have before me notes 
on his lecture on Miracles, delivered in Central 
Church, Des Moines, in May of 1943. Sifting the 
truth from the inevitable growths of fancy which ac- 
cumulate and cling to ancient records, applying the 
standards of universal physical law and the moral 
character of God to slough away the unimportant 
elements in the history, the conclusion of his exami- 
nation was that there remain deep mysteries of fact 
and that "we stand before these with bowed heads." 
The nature of Jesus, wrought in himself, was his 
greatest miracle, and a similar work is the high call- 
ing of the Christian, the "greater things" than physi- 
cal display, as contained in the marching orders of I 
Corinthians 13. Such a life was not made to die. 


Addison L. Cole, Omaha, Nebraska: Dr. Willett 
was one of my best teachers. I owed him no money, 
yet, I was deep in debt to him. This great uncrowned 
prince of teachers seemed to feel that he had been 
more than paid for service to his students, long be- 
fore he even started to work with our untrained, un- 
disciplined dull minds. Dr. Willett is even now a 
living power over a multitude no man can number. 

Clifford S. Weaver, McKinney, Texas : One of the 
gentlest, noblest characters whom I have ever 
known. Clear visioned and scholarly with a depth 
of soul making him compassionate, forgiving and 
dignified. It may almost be said of him, "Reviled 
he reviled not again." Ahead of his generation, 
many now would like to sit at his feet and ponder 
the words of wisdom and kindness coming from his 
mind and heart. Truly a royal fellow and "comrade 
of the unending quest." 

Henry Pearce Atkins, Cincinnati, Ohio : The death 
of Dr. Willett has brought sorrow to us all. He was 
beloved by all our household, as welcome a guest 
as we have ever entertained. While he will be re- 
membered for his outstanding scholarship and con- 
secrated leadership, it will be as our gracious friend 
and comrade that we shall miss him most. 

Walter D. Gibbs, Lexington, Ky.: My tribute to 
Herbert L. Willett is an expression of gratitude for 
the harmonious blending in the Christian scholar 
and preacher, of deep and profound convictions 
based on careful study and reasoned conclusions, to- 
gether with courtesy and real consideration for 
others who held different views. His brethren in- 
cluded all who loved and served Jesus Christ. 

Alexander Paul, Indianapolis, Indiana: Our late 
beloved friend. Dr. Willett, will be mourned by our 
missionaries as a group, as few leaders who have 
passed on shall be mourned. He was always a true 
friend of the missionary and his work. He and Mrs. 


Willett visited several times in the Orient and India 
and it was always a benediction to have them. How 
proud we were to present such a cultured Christian 
gentleman to our Oriental friends. How thrilled 
we always were at the deep spiritual messages he 
gave to our friends in China and Japan. To me, 
he was always a beloved friend. His memory will 
spur me on to try to be more like him. 

L. D. Anderson, Fort Worth, Texas: To a great 
host Dr. Herbert L. Willett is an exemplar of the 
ideal Christian man and minister. He combined 
scholarship with simplicity, sympathy with sincer- 
ity, skill with sanctity. He was a master of assem- 
blies. He wrote, as he spoke, with rare challenge 
and charm. To see, hear, and know him was a price- 
less privilege. Throughout my ministry I never 
knowingly missed an opportunity to hear him. I 
share with all who knew, honored, and loved him 
appreciation of his intelligence, integrity, and influ- 
ence. I trust we are better men and ministers be- 
cause of him. 

R. W. Hoffman, Springfield, Missouri : Dr. Willett 
was the second man I met on the campus of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago in 1917. He made me feel so 
much at home that ever afterward I was at ease in 
his presence and at home on the campus. Dr. Wil- 
lett's strong point might be emphasized in his de- 
gree of warmth and his interest in other people. 
This quality was displayed in a happy personal re- 
lationship; in addition, many will recall the plea 
that he made for the underprivileged at the Camp- 
bell Institute meeting a few years ago. His heart 
beat for everybody and that was a strength of his 
kindness and calmness under trying circumstances. 

J. Barbee Robertson, Wichita, Kansas: The pos- 
sibilities of Christian personality are best under- 
stood and explained by examples. Dr. Willett was 
an unusual combination of traits and characteris- 
tics. He was the personification of scholarship, tact. 


tolerance, winsomeness and with a capacity for un- 
usual forbearance. Younger, and lesser men, always 
were comfortable in his presence. He knew how to 
draw out the best in others. He had an appreciation 
for even the smallest talent of others that was and 
still is all too rare among us. In brief he was the 
kind of person that should become a legend among 
us as to what a Christian gentleman and scholar 
ought to be and may perchance become. 

President M. E. Sadler, Fort Worth, Texas : In 
the early stages of my study of Religion I was prob- 
ably influenced more by Dr. Willett than by any 
other individual. He was the first one to give me 
a compelling appreciation of the Bible. 

A. W. Fortune, Lexington, Kentucky: As I look 
back over my life I realize that there were a few 
persons who made a large contribution to my re- 
ligious thinking. One of the most important of these 
was Herbert L. Willett. He entered my life at the 
time when I was passing through a transition in my 
religious thinking. He was especially helpful, be- 
cause while he was modern he was genuinely reli- 
gious. While he always faced the future he con- 
served the best of the past. 

F. E. Lundey, Columhws, Ohio: I have never 
known him intimately — ^to my great loss; but have 
been deeply impressed for thirty years by his able 
scholarship in a very diflicult field and by his lead- 
ership in liberalism — a very much needed move- 

Carl H. Wilhelm, Ada, Oklahoma: Thank you 
for the opportunity and privilege of giving expres- 
sion in this way to my very real gratitude for what 
the life of Dr. Herbert L. Willett has meant to the 
church, to our own brotherhood, and to my own in- 
dividual life. It has meant much to Christianity of 
our day that we have had one in our midst whose 
high intellectual attainments were matched by the 


utmost lowliness of heart. What a glory he gave 
to the calling of the ministry! How wonderful to 
be a part of such a fellowship ! 

C. H. Windeis, Bridgeport, Indiana: The Dis- 
ciples, along with other communions, have come a 
long way in this present century. We have become 
more open-minded, more tolerant, more cooperative, 
more conscious of our own place in the whole pro- 
gram of Christianity. To no other are we so much 
indebted for this change of attitude. Those who 
knew Dr. Willett best loved and honored him for 
what he was. Often amazed at his comprehensive 
knowledge, understanding and insight, humbled and 
sometimes put to shame by his gentleness, patience 
and tolerance, he was by many bitterly denounced 
and falsely accused but he answered not a word. 
He has seen many who came to criticize remain to 
praise — perhaps to pray. 

Donald S. Klaiss, University of North Carolina, 
Chapel Hill, N. C: I first became acquainted with 
Dr. Willett through one of his books, "The Bible 
Through the Centuries." It was the summer of 1930 
and I was planning to enter the University of Chi- 
cago in September. I was spending much of my 
time reading and in the course of looking over the 
books in the public library I chanced upon Dr. Wil- 
lett's volume. It made a profound impression on 
me, and as I later discovered, provided an excellent 
introduction for the studies I undertook in the Di- 
vinity School. I feel that he enriched greatly my 
education and experience in the University and the 
Disciples Divinity House. 

Myron Taggart Hopper, Lexington, Ky. : As a re- 
sult of my contacts with him during, and since, my 
student days my memory of Dr. Herbert L, Willett 
is a memory of a gracious and tolerant Christian 
gentleman. It is a memory of a man with deep 
convictions and a deep reverence for God and hu- 
man life. It is a memory of a man of culture and 


scholarship. It is a memory of one with rare gifts 
of expression which enabled him to use just the 
right word or phrase to convey his meaning, and 
which enabled him to be a great preacher and lec- 
turer without indulging in "spreadeagle oratory." 
It is a memory of one who respected the rights of 
others to their own opinions and points of view. 
Yes, it is a memory of a gracious and tolerant Chris- 
tian gentleman. May the Disciples and the religious 
world have more men like him! 

James A. Grain, Indianapolis, Indiana: With the 
passing of Herbert Lockwood Willett the ecumenical 
Church lost a statesman and the Disciples a pro- 
found scholar and a genuine Christian spirit. 
Though constantly under fire during the years of his 
greatest activity from conservative brethren in his 
own communion who neither understood his teach- 
ings nor his spirit, he never repaid harsh judgment 
with harsh judgment. In all sorts of situations he 
was the same tolerant, understanding, courtly and 
urbane Christian gentleman. Throughout its early 
history he was an uncompromising friend of the 
Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in Ameri- 
ca and no little of its present standing is due to 
the zeal with which he supported it. He was almost 
the father of the Church Federation of Chicago, giv- 
ing to it liberally of his time and his service during 
the days of its infancy. Though to some he may 
have seemed at times something of the aloof intel- 
lectual, he was, in fact, a very genial and companion- 
able person. I shall always remember an afternoon 
spent with Dr. Willett and a few close companions 
on Chesapeake Bay in 1922 at Eastertime and with 
what gusto he devoured oysters dredged from the 
Bay and roasted over the open fire! To know him 
was a privilege. To love him was a necessity. 

Charles 0. Lee, Shreveport, La.: During that 
critical period of Disciple transformation from a 
more or less esoteric group to a major and coopera- 


tive movement, Dr. Willett was an outstanding 
though often misunderstood leader. While in this 
world no worthwhile cause can ever be said to be 
completed, Dr. Willett did live to see much of his 
pioneering become the accepted norm of the church. 
At the University, he was ever the friend of Dis- 
ciple students. He was the first person I saw when 
entering there and his kindliness was of such a 
nature that the memory of what he was, and what 
he did in my behalf, has not dimmed through the 

Resolution passed by the Board of Higher Educa- 
tion of the Disciples of Christ at Indianapolis, April 
18, 1944. It is appropriate to record the passing of 
Dr. Herbert L. Willett, a man recognized through- 
out the brotherhood of the Disciples of Christ as a 
leader and inspirer of youth. A man whose courage 
and sincerity no one can question. He lackied but 
a few days of completing four score years. He was 
born at Ionia, Michigan, and was a product of the 
church established there by Isaac Errett. He was 
the initial occupant of the first Bible Chair at Ann 
Arbor. He was the first Dean of the Disciples Di- 
vinity House at the University of Chicago. He in- 
spired the initial successes of the Christian Century. 
His activities as a minister included his first pas- 
torate at Dayton, Ohio; organization of the church 
at Hyde Park, Chicago; ten years at the Memorial 
Cliurch, Chicago, and fifteen years at the Kenil- 
worth Church. He led in the organization of the 
Chicago Church Federation and in the creation of 
the Federal Council of Churches of Christ. He was 
a prominent member of the faculty of the Univer- 
sity of Chicago. His literary productions gave him 
world significance in his fields of study. He will 
be remembered for his gentle manhood and his 
gracious sympathies. 

(We regret lack of space makes it impossible to print here 
many other tributes received. — Ed.) 


Campbell Institute 
Tentative Program 

Monday, July 31, 9:30 P.M. 
Annual Communion Service 

Tuesday, August 1, 2 P.M. 

Address, "Science Is Religions," 

Dean Seth Slaughter 


Tuesday, 9:30 P.M. 

President's Address, "The Disciples and the 

New World Order" T. T. Swearingen 

Business, Appointment of Committees. 

Wednesday Afternoon (Baseball Game?) 

Wednesday, 9:30 P.M. 

Address, "Preachers and Their Practical Prob- 


Thursday, 2 P.M.— Memorial to Dr. Willett. 

Thursday, 6:30 P.M. — Memorial Dinner. In charge 
of Charter Members. 

Tributes to Dr. Willett: 

1. The Man 

2. The Preacher 

3. The Scholar 

4. The Christian Statesman 

Friday, 2 P.M. 

Address, "A Theology for Times Like These" 



Vol. XLI. JUNE, 1944 No. 10 

Ghosts of Alexander Campbell 

W. J. Lhamon, Columbia, Mo. 

Science has well-nigh ruined the ghost business. 
What is left of it is mostly of a pragmatic sort. We 
may still believe that Elijah's mantle fell on Elisha; 
and later on John the Baptist; that the daemon of 
Socrates reappeared in Plato. Lincoln may still be 
"walking at midnight." Surely Tennyson has come 
back in Alfred Noyes, and according to Vachel Lind- 
say we may still think of Campbell "old and gray" 
preaching by the dream side of the Pennyroyal 
River, and 

While your proud heart is shaken 
Your confession may be taken 
And your sins baptized away. 

Campbell was great enough to have ghosts. Quot- 
ing Lindsay again, he was a "genius beautiful and 
great;" "the most benign of men;" a "text-armed 
apostle," a "pillar of fire." Archibald McLean says, 
"If it be true, as Aristotle held, that persuasive 
speech is oratory, then Mr. Campbell was one of the 
greatest pulpit orators that ever lived." 

He was a many-sided man — scholar, preacher, 
debater, iconoclast, knight errant of reform, and a 
leader of no mean ability. His ghosts linger, but 
since he was a child of his time many of them in- 
evitably and fortunately fade. 

He had the instincts, the tastes, the habits and the 
mental acumen of a scholar. He could discriminate. 
His mind was analytical. He loved truth and will- 
ingly paid the price of its attainment. He faced 
facts. He was not afraid to break with tradition. 

His "rules of interpretation" are indicative of his 
scholarly leaning. Briefly these rules call for the 
authorship, date, place, occasion and audience of any 


unit of writing; the character of the writing, 
whether literal or figurative; figures to be inter- 
preted as such, but not beyond their author's mean- 
ing ; common usage to control the meaning of words ; 
and the same rules precisely to be applied to the 
Bible that we apply to other bodies of literature. 
Here, in germ, is the higher criticism. The term 
is a later one, but whatever it means Mr. Campbell 
was a pioneer in it. His critical instincts led him 
further. They led him to his noteworthy Sermon 
on the Law, in which he distinguished between 
Moses and Jesus, between law and Gospel, between 
the Old Testament and the New. For this he was 
accused of "damnable heresy," another proof of his 
scholarship, may be. He founded Bethany College, 
and that is another indication of his regard for 
scholarship. In an address delivered by D. S. Bur- 
net at Bethany College in 1866 we are informed in 
a style sufficiently florid that, *'To secure a complete 
knowledge of the copious language consecrated to 
the gospel, two Greek grammars, one in a dead 
tongue, were committed to memory, and abundant 
lore of English, French, Latin and Greek prose and 
poetry were stored away in the same spacious 
thesaurus for future use, apples of gold in baskets 
of silver." We are told further that young Alexander 
Campbell read through Scott's huge Commentary, 
and similar works. Whew ! 

But that was a hundred years ago. Meanwhile 
whole sciences have been born, and have grown into 
commanding power. Darwin's Origin of Species 
appeared in 1859, just seven years before the death 
of Mr. Campbell. Since that date the evolutionary 
hypothesis has dominated every department of his- 
torical and scientific thinking. Back of the evolu- 
tionary hypothesis lies the inductive method. In- 
deed the hypothesis of evolution is the child of the 
inductive method widely and rigidly applied. Geo- 
logy calls for untold millions of years for the growth 
of the rocks. Biology demands millions for the de- 


velopment of plant and animal life. Ethnology de- 
clares that man has been on the earth many tens of 
thousands of years. The study of religion has taken 
its place by the side of other sciences, and has 
changed our thinking mightily. The religion of the 
early Hebrews was one of many other such primi- 
tive tribal cults. The Old Testament is one of many 
Bibles, superior to others in its higher and more 
complete disclosure of God. The Genesis story 
of creation is one of many cosmogonies. Sacrificial 
worship, accompanied by music and dancing and 
feasting, was universal among ancient primitive 
peoples. Such features as circumcision and the 
Sabbath and the various taboos were not entirely 
peculiar to the Hebrews. Development meets us 
everywhere, in the literature, in the laws, in the 
priestly and prophetic orders, in rituals in the rise 
of sects, even in temple building. The Hebrew 
thought about God was not the same from age to 
age. Henotheism slowly gave place to monotheism, 
and a higher order of monotheism came with Amos 
and Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jonah. 

To the whole of this developmental process Mr. 
Campbell was a stranger. To him the Bible was 
from first to last a dead level of divine revelation. 
He failed to apply strictly to any part of it his own 
principles of criticism. He began as a scholar and 
stopped halfway, or less than half. I may offer the 
following points, omitting many another, in which 
the scholarship of today has left him stranded. 

He failed to distinguish between folk-lore and 

He knew nothing about biblical poetry and its 
various forms. 

"^He held the traditional notions about prophecy, 
namely that it is predominantly the foretelling of 
future events. 

He made no study of apocalyptic literature as 


He did not seem to know that there is a synoptic 

He knew Greek but he was not a textual critic, 
and could not be. One must deal with these points 
in the briefest way possible with due regard to the 
pages of The Scroll. 

As to folk-lore. Large portions of the Old Testa- 
ment history (when it is history) are told in story 
form. These stories were through centuries the lore 
of the Hebrew tribes, handed down from generation 
to generation, till at last they were thrown into 
literary form by unknown writers of, perhaps, the 
seventh and eighth centuries before Christ. Here 
belong the stories of the creation and the tempta- 
tion; of Cain and Abel and the flood, and many 
another. Then there are whole cycles of hero stories 
with historic basis as, for instance, those of Abra- 
ham, Isaac and Jacob, Samson, Samuel, Saul and 
David and Jonathan and a host of others. To Mr. 
Campbell everything in this category was fact. 
There was a real Adam and a real Eve made from 
one of his ribs. A real serpent stood up and talked. 
He deceived Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and 
thereafter was condemned to go on his belly. The 
eating of the forbidden fruit was a fact, and the 
fig-leaf aprons were facts. There was no doubt 
about the great ages of the patriarchs. Adam lived 
long enough to tell Methuselah all about God and 
the garden and Cain and Abel; Methuselah lived 
long enough (969 years) to tell Shem, and Shem told 
Noah . . . and there we have it, for Shem and Noah 
"were great and learned sages!" This was Mr. 
Campbell's basis of Bible history and moral philo- 
sophy in 1840, and we agree with him that it "was 
not an inductive science." He had to have some- 
thing of the kind for John Locke had closed his 
mind against everything innate. Locke had taught 
him that the human mind is a tabula rasa into which 
nothing could get except through the eyes and ears 
and nose and toes. There is no such thing as in- 


tuition or mental creation. So there was no way for 
Adam to know about God except for God to come 
in person and put the fact of himself into Adam's 
mind through Adam's eyes and ears. Mr. Camp- 
bell seems not to have known that Kant had upset 
all that with his categorical hnperative. So much 
for Mr. Campbell's "bottomless pit of metaphysics." 

As to biblical poetry. Mr. Campbell knew noth- 
ing about it in its multifarious forms though it fills 
a third of the Old Testament. The expedient by 
which the Hebrews created the fine flow and joyous 
rhythm of their poetry was parallelism . . . the 
parallelism of clauses or sentences. Even the King 
James translators did not know about it. An 
Anglican scholar, Bishop Lowth, discovered it a cen- 
tury later. Now our more readable Bibles are print- 
ed with poetry looking like poetry, that is, it is 
thrown up on the page as poetry should be. Really 
poetry is the name for creative literature as com- 
pared with fact literature, or history. Among its 
various forms there are the epic and dramatic; the 
lyric and idylic; psalms and odes and elegies and 
meditations and visions and rituals and sonnets and 
songs of prophetic dooms. And there are many 
others. The great prophets were poets. Who does 
not feel the rhythmic flow and trenchant sentences 
in the daring sermons of Isaiah and Jeremiah? 
Then there are the books of protest fiction, two of 
them at least; namely Ruth and Jonah. They too 
are poetry in the sense of creative teaching. And 
so also, in the New Testament, are the parables of 

All this has much to do with interpretation. 
Poetry must be interpreted as poetry. It takes wild 
liberties with imagination and facts and rhetoric. 
As an example take the book of Jonah and the story 
of the whale. Can there be a fish big enough to 
swallow a man? And could a man live three days 
in him? Well, a clever writer of poetic fiction can 
fix all that with a few strokes of his pen. The un- 


known writer of the story of Jonah was not con- 
cerned about miracles; he could make all of them 
that he needed ; but he was mightily concerned about 
his peoples' ugly, tribal hatred of foreigners, espe- 
cially the Ninevites with their hundred and twenty 
thousand babies "and much cattle," So much for 
poetry and for a single example of its interpreta- 
tion. But how far have we gotten from Alexander 
Campbell ! 

As to his traditional notions about prophecy. He 
seems not even to have considered the original mean- 
ing of the word, namely, speaking for another — 
especially for God. The popular concept of it is that 
of fore-telling future events while the fact is that 
from Micah and Isaiah to Haggai the future was 
the least of their concern. They were concerned 
about their own people and times. They were re- 
ligious and social revolutionists. They were trou- 
ble makers for kings and priests who had gone 
wrong. They were the Savonarolas, the Luthers, 
the Calvins, and the Gandhis of their various times 
and places. They were political and religious re- 
formers, each with his special message from God. 
That is what made them great and terrible. But 
this did not seem to appeal to Mr. Campbell. To 
him the prophets were the servants of covenant or 
dispensation that God had promised to Abraham, 
namely, that "In thee shall all the nations of the 
earth be blessed," and their chief business was some- 
how to minister to this "covenant" and forecast it 
in symbols and enigmatic phrases. Concluding a 
chapter on the Bible in his Christian System he says, 
"History has to do with facts and religion springs 
from them. Hence the history of the past and the 
anticipations of the future, or what is usually called 
history and prophecy, make up exactly four fifths 
of the volume of inspiration." So, prophecy is just 
no more than anticipations of the future! 

Into this mistaken view of prophecy Mr. Camp- 
bell threw the whole great mass of apocalytic lit- 


erature so far as he knew anything about it. He 
didn't know much for none of the scholars of that 
day seemed to know much about it. Great strides 
have been made since his day however. It is now 
known to be a special vast body of writings of 
purely Jewish origin through many centuries. It is 
scarcely ranked as prophecy — rather as a lower 
grade of prophecy. It has certain characteristics; 
usually it is pseudonomous ; usually it was produced 
in times of distress by reason of wars of conquest 
by foreign enemies; usually it was directed to the 
help and inspiration of desperate people by breath- 
ing into their minds and hearts courage and hope; 
and usually this optimism was conveyed through the 
strangest aggregation of symbols that human in- 
genuity ever invented or borrowed — kings and 
slaves, trumpets and viols and candles, lions and 
beasts with horns and he goats, and angels and mar- 
tyrs, and thunders and lightnings, and serpents and 
dragons, and battles and plagues and death and the 
four horsemen that stand for such things, and many 
others, so that the various books were apparently 
the very opposite of what the word apocalypse indi- 
cates, namely revelation, or uncovering. And the 
point seems to have been that the wise Jews had 
schools for the interpretation of such mysterious 
things while to their enemies they remained just so 
much mystery or jargon. One thing more; these 
writings were tracts for their own times and not for 
all times. Daniel, for instance, was for the days 
of Antiochus Epiphanes (167 B.C.) and Revelation 
for the terrible days of the persecution of — possibly 
Nero ; certainly of Domitian. So these great, strange 
books have nothing to do with our times except as 
we can draw from them their daring faith, their 
courage and their immortal hope. 

But Mr. Campbell mistook them for church and 
world history to the end of time. He followed pre- 
cisely the methods of the Millerites a hundred years 


ago together with the Turners, with Ellen White and 
the Seventh Day Adventists, only that he found all 
of them side-tracked on the wrong dates. He as- 
sumed that they were right about the he goat in 
Daniel (7:5) with a notable horn between his eyes, 
and the 2,300 days which they interpreted as 2,300 
years (Daniel 8:14) ; but they had made the goat 
stand for the wrong thing and the years begin at 
the wrong place. He on the contrary assumed that 
the he goat stood for Alexander the Great, whose 
real career began at the battle of the Granicus, 
334 B. C. This subtracted from the 2,300 leaves 
1966, which is the year of Christ's second coming. 
Connecting this with certain texts in the book of 
Revelation Mr. Campbell drew the conclusions that 
at that date Satan will be bound a thousand years, 
and the dead saints will be raised to reign with 
Christ. Naive? Yes. But gospel then and Mr. 
Campbell believed it. Through forty pages or more 
he gives us a fine example of such apocalyptical hash 

A world of Old Testament criticism and discovery 
has come to us since Mr. Campbell's days. It has a 
framework of symbols such as the J sections, the E 
sections, the P sections, the D sections, and many an- 
other working expedient that he could not have 
dreamed of, and that we know little about unless we 
are specialists in the science. Just as in other sci- 
ences we, who are laymen, must trust our specialists. 
But Mr. Campbell was not troubled even about that. 
And there are features of New Testament criticism 
and results that would startle him now and spoil 
some of his most dogmatic deliveries. For exam- 
ple, Mr. Campbell did not seem to know that there is 
a synoptic problem. The four Gospels were level 
books to him and inspiration made them so. He was 

*I refer the reader to the Millennial Harbinger Abridged 
by Benjamin Lyon Smith for much more extended material on 
this subject. 


not disturbed by the facts of identities and marked 
differences in them. That Mark is the oldest; that 
Matthew leaned on Mark and had other source ma- 
terial mostly of a teaching" nature ; that Luke leaned 
on both Matthew and Mark and had still other teach- 
ing and fact material ; that there seem to have been 
personal preferences here and there among the 
writers as to just what should be said and what not, 
and many another question of authorship and valu- 
ation and date and the audience in view — one does 
not discover that Mr. Campbell thought about or 
cared about such matters. 

And textual criticism — though he knew some 
Greek he was not a textual critic and could not have 
been for the manuscripts, the laboratories and even 
the call for it were not at hand. Why bother with 
the texts when King James was divinely inspired? 
Even so marked a case as the last verses of the last 
chapter of Mark had no challenge for him though 
every educated preacher now knows that those 
verses (from the 9th to the last) are a second cen- 
tury production by an unknown mystical, magical 
author who thought that all Christians should be 
able to "speak with tongues, take up serpents and 
drink deadly things" — as though the risen Savior 
could be interested in such magic. But Mr. Camp- 
bell uses these verses of Mark as an authority on 
baptism. (Christian System, p. 235). On the same 
page he forces (or juggles) Luke's report of the 
Savior's commission (Ch. 24:47-8) into a command 
for baptism by a process that he calls "metonomy." 
I quote, "Metonomically Luke places repentance, or 
rather reformation, for faith ; and remission of sins 
for immersion !" If juggling is a "feat of dexterity" 
then let us call that a very clever one of the kind. 
In the light of scholarship, and even of very modern 
scholarship, such ghosts of exegesis do fade. 

Mr. Campbell's mind moved in the realms of au- 
thority, government, legislation and command. 


There was a patriarchal dispensation and a Mosaic 
dispensation and a Jewish dispensation, and God 
made a covenant with each of them, and his cove- 
nant was absolute. When God's government comes 
into the hands of Emmanuel it does not change for 
he (Emanuel) "Is now the hereditary Monarch of 
the universe, as well as the proper King of his own 
kingdom. He now reigns absolutely over all princi- 
palities, hierarchies and powers, celestial and ter- 
restrial, as did the great God and Father of the uni- 
verse, before he was invested with regal authority." 
To say the least this is exactly the antithesis of every 
thing that Jesus thought of and claimed when he 
was here in the flesh. This vein of legalism and ab- 
solutism runs all through Alexander Campbell's 
Campbellism. It roots itself even in Thomas Camp- 
bell's Declaration and address in that sentence which 
says : "The New Testament is as perfect a constitu- 
tion for the worship, discipline and government of 
the New Testament Church as the Old Testament 
was for the worship, discipline and government of 
the Old Testament Church." A false statement in 
both its parts. In our sense of the word there was no 
Old Testament church. There was a theocracy — 
an entirely different matter. And in the New Tes- 
tament there is no formal constitution and no legis- 
lation. Constitutions and laws, and the Oriental 
imagery of thrones and crowns and diadems and 
covenants appear on many a page of Campbell's 
Christian System. Always there must be some kind 
of blue-print. Metaphors are mistaken for things 
literal. For example, when Jesus likens his life and 
teachings and their fruits in other lives to a "king- 
dom" and then spends months and even years in 
trying to disabuse the slow minds of his disciples of 
every possible vestige of Oriental monarchy with 
its thrones and crowns and armies and battles and 
conquests and (in a word) gory glory by saying vir- 
tually "No! My kingdom is like a grain of mustard 


seed"; or "like leaven"; or like a fish net"; Mr. 
Campbell mistakes all that and more for some new 
kind of more glorified Orientalism. "A kingdom 
must have a constitution. It must have a King. It 
must have subjects. And laws, and a territory." 
Then he forces Christ into a most Grand Monarch; 
and the disciples into subjects — though Jesus him- 
self called them "friends." And laws ! There must 
be laws ; so the precedent of meeting on the first day 
for the Lord's supper becomes a law ; and the prece- 
dent of baptism becomes a laiv of the kingdom. And 
the simple, beautiful human-interest parables by 
which Jesus sought to pull his disciples directly 
away from all that are forced by Mr. Campbell into 
his five point blue-print of a kingdom by throwing 
around them an aureole of legalistic verbiage. 
Ghosts now! But still loved and cherished by our 
anti-instrumental music brothers and by an occa- 
sional "Committee for Action" somewhere here or 

A word as to Mr. Campbell's book, The Christian 
System. From the standpoint of the Sermon on the 
Mount and the Lord's Prayer and the parables of 
Jesus it would be hard to find anything more mis- 
leading. Mr. Campbell never divested himself of 
the traditionalism in which in earliest youth he was 
nourished. I mean that feature of Calvinism which 
involves the absolute sovereignty of God and all the 
hard logic of legalism that goes with it. He never 
discovered Christ's constructive use of the term Fa- 
ther in relation to God and so he continued to be- 
lieve in and worship — not our Heavenly Father but 
Our Heavenly Monarch. He did draw a sharp line 
between Moses and Jesus in his Sermon on the Law, 
to which I have referred above. But he never fol- 
lowed Jesus over from the monarchical monotheism 
of the Old Testament to the paternal monotheism 
of the New Testament. He remained as long as he 
lived an Old Testament legalist under a New Testa- 


ment guise. One wonders whether Campbell really- 
loved the parable of the Prodigal's Return — the fa- 
ther running to meet the boy ; crying out for a robe 
and a ring ; saying not a word about a constitutional 
surrender or a sacramental baptism; but just feast- 
ing and rejoicing and crying, "My son was lost, he 
is found; he was dead, he is alive." 

Mr. Campbell made great strides. But he stopped 
too soon. Let us not blame him. He anticipated a 
historical method that was in its infancy. Biology 
and geology and archeology and biblical criticism 
were all infants. He had a line of full-grown patri- 
archs to put over against these infants. He stayed 
with his patriarchs. Those who honor Luther most 
have had to move away from him; and those who 
honor Calvin most have had to deny half of him. 
To be most loyal to Campbell we must thank God 
for him and then run as fast as we can away from 
his grave and his ghosts. 

Liberal Religious Education 

Myron Taggart Hopper, Lexington, Ky. 

In his article in the November, 1943, issue of The 
Scroll Mr. Jack Finnegan reports on the discussion 
of modern religious education which grew out of my 
review of Dr. W. C. Bower's book Christ and Chris- 
tian Education. With much of what Mr. Finnegan 
wrote I find myself in hearty agreement, and I hope 
that some of the points of disagreement have been 
cleared up by a previous article in this magazine. It 
seems to me that clarification of some additional 
points is needed, also, consequently I undertake this 
further "literary effort." 

Mr. Finnegan reports that I maintained "that 
modern religious education takes its clues as to 
methods from the findings of the most recent psy- 
chology and educational philosophy," and that any 
correspondence with methods used by Jesus is ir- 


relevant. With slight modifications I am willing to 
accept his reporting of my position. The major 
modification is at the point of his use of the words 
"most recent psychology and educational philoso- 
phy." Modern religious education does not limit it- 
self, to that which is most recent in the fields of 
psychology and educational philosophy. In fact, the 
question of recency is unimportant. What is impor- 
tant is that educational methods be based upon the 
most adequate, the best and the most valid, under- 
standings of how human personality grows and de- 
velops, and how more mature persons (teachers and 
leaders) can best guide this growth and development 
in those who are less mature. This, it seems to me, 
is almost axiomatic. If educational method be not 
based upon such understandings, upon what can it 
be based? 

Another modification, which it should not be nec- 
essary to make since it is implied in what has been 
said, is that in determining its methods, religious 
education does not limit itself to the findings of psy- 
chology and educational philosophy exclusively. It 
seeks insight as to how personality growth can be 
fostered from any field which contributes to such in- 
sights. Any adequate psychology or educational 
philosophy must do the same thing. Truth is of one 
piece. If, perchance, a finding of psychology or edu- 
cational philosophy is not in harmony with a point 
of view in some other field, say theology, then re- 
course must be had to the facts in an attempt to 
reconcile the difference in point of view, or disprove 
one or the other. ^ 

^It is probably true that, in the event that differences can- 
not be reconciled, modern religious education would follow the 
judgment of psychology and educational philosophy. This, 
in my judgment, is what it should do, for research in how 
personality grows and develops is the primary concern of 
these fields. It is not the primary concern of theology. This 
is not to suggest that the conclusions of theology should be 
ignored or are irrelevant. It is to say that theology should 
not have the last word in a field not its own. 


It is accurate, also, to say that, in my judgment, 
"it does not matter in the slightest whether we teach 
in the way" Jesus "taught." What we should be con- 
cerned about is that we teach in the best ways (the 
most effective ways) we can. If those ways are in 
harmony with the specific methods used by Jesus 
that is all to the good. If they are not, then they 
should, never-the-less, be used. Jesus was not a 
specialist in the field of educational method. Even 
if he had been, we should not be limited by the con- 
clusions he reached and the methods he employed. 
To so limit ourselves in the field of educational meth- 
od would be the same as a physician limiting him- 
self to the methods of healing employed by Jesus be- 
cause we speak of Jesus as the Great Physician. 
Think of the loss to humanity if such were our prac- 
tice. Physicians could do little more than cast out 
demons and engage in faith healing. 

The loss to humanity would not be nearly so great, 
if we limited our educational practices to those used 
by Jesus, as would be the loss if we limited our medi- 
cal practices to those which He used. As a matter of 
fact most of our religious teaching, and our preach- 
ing, would be greatly improved if we followed the 
practice of Jesus in such matters. There would be 
much less of starting with a passage of scripture 
and expounding upon it, and much more of dealing 
with the living, moving, present experiences and 
problems of people. That is what Jesus did most 
often. Furthermore, practices in religious educa- 
tion would be much more in harmony with that 
which modern religious education advocates if the 
educational methods of Jesus were followed. His 
practice supports the point of view of modern re- 
ligious education in a remarkable way, as W. C. 
Bower and Luther A. Weigle have so admirably 
pointed out.^ Even so, the practice of Jesus is not, 

2 See Christ and Christian Education, by W. C. Bower, pp. 
20-26, and Jesiis and the Educational Method, by Luther A. 
Weigle, Chapter I. 


in the last analysis, the criterion to be used in de- 
termining the validity of educational method. This 
criterion is to be found in the best we know with 
respect to the way in which personality growth can 
be fostered. 

If Jesus is to be the norm for our educational 
method, why should we not, also, limit ourselves to 
that which characterized His work in our total edu- 
cational approach. If we did we would have no 
specific justification for our church schools and our 
colleges and our other educational enterprises. 
About all we could do would be to converse inform- 
ally with people as we meet them, and carry on a 
sort of nomadic boarding school for the education 
of future leadership. We could not have libraries. 
A formal curriculum would be out of the question. 
We would not have regularly scheduled times for 
religious education. In fact we would not have 
much of what we rightfully consider essential. 

It may seem from what I have just written that 
I am being absurd. I do not think such is the case. 
If Jesus is to 'be our criterion for educational 
method why should he not be it for the rest of our 
educational activities? The answer of those who 
think what has been written is absurd is, of course, 
that the practices of Jesus in this broader field are 
not relevant. Who says they are not? Those who 
judge them to be irrelevant do. In their experience 
they come to such a judgement. In the last analysis 
their criterion is not the practice of Jesus but their 
judgement of the validity of the practices of Jesus. 
That is all I am trying to say with respect to edu- 
cational method. In the last analysis the validity 
of an educational method is not to be determined 
•by the way Jesus taught. Instead it is to be de- 
termined by our best judgement, in the light of the 
best we know, with respect to how personality, 
growth and development can be fostered. Psychol- 
ogy, educational philosophy, and related and sup- 


porting fields, represent the disciplines which are 
seeking to discover and organize our knowledge in 
this area. Consequently, modern religious educa- 
tion should "take its clues as to method" from them. 
I must confess that I cannot follow Mr. Finnigan's 
logic when he says that if it does not matter 
whether we teach in the way Jesus taught it follows 
that "it is of no importance whether what we teach 
has any recognizable relationship to what he 
taught." That is like saying that because reading 
is no longer taught by beginning with the alphabet 
and building up words and sentences, the same 
words and sentences and letters cannot be used in 
teaching reading by beginning by teaching children 
to recognize entire words and phrases. I do not mean 
to suggest that educational method and content are 
entirely unrelated. Certainly the content influences 
the method used. It is making them too mutually 
interdependent to say that the same content cannot 
be taught by different educational approaches, how- 
ever, and that seems to me to be what Mr. Finnegan 
says. This point of view might be valid if Jesus 
is to be set up as the final authority and pattern for 
every detail of life. Then to refuse to accept His 
pattern in one field would logically raise the ques- 
tion as to His authority elsewhere. That few Chris- 
tians hold him to be such an authority is evidenced 
by the simple fact that they marry. Certainly no 
sincere Christian would marry if he looked upon 
Jesus as the pattern of life in the sense I have sug- 
gested, for Jesus never married. No, it does not 
logically follow from the statement that the corres- 
pondence of our teaching methods with those used 
by Jesus is a matter of little import, that "it is of 
no importance whether what we teach has any 
recognizable relationship to what he taught." 
Whether we teach what he taught will be deter- 
mined by the validity of what he taught, not by 
the validity of the methods He used. 


One additional point in Mr. Finnegan's article 
needs clarification. Contrary to his statement, the 
content of modern religious education is not "the 
highest ideals of humanity, which are known in 
contemporary life." Such ideals should, by all means 
make up a part of the content of religious educa- 
tion. They are not, however, in and of themselves, 
the content. In the modern view, the content of re- 
ligious education is the content of a body of selected 
experiences under enrichment and control. What 
the particular content will be will depend upon the 
experiences through which the learner is going. The 
particular experiences making up the curriculum 
will be selected with the interests and needs of the 
learner constantly in mind, and with a view to 
achieving the objectives of the educational process. 
What these objectives will be will vary with the 
group engaged in the educational process. 

When the group engaged by the educational pro- 
cess is a Christian group, the objectives will be dif- 
ferent than if it were a Moslem group. The Chris- 
tian group, because it believes in the relevance of 
the message of Jesus, in the Bible, and in the 
Christian tradition, will formulate its objectives 
accordingly. Furthermore, it will include in its cur- 
riculum, experiences intended to lead growing per- 
sons to an acceptance of the message and religious 
leadership of Jesus and the Bible. Experiences will 
be included with the purpose of orienting persons 
in the Christian tradition, also. These experiences 
will be enriched and guided in the best possible way. 
They will not be propaganda experiences, however. 
They will be free and open searches for truth and 
the learner will be left free to make his own choices 
in the light of the facts and information used to 
enrich the experiences. The content will be all rel- 
evant experience of the past and present which can 
be marshalled. It will be presented as objectively 
as possible, and as vitally as possible, so that it may 


be in the possesion of the learner as he evaluates 
his experience and makes his choices. If that ex- 
perience of the past is in the Bible and the teach- 
ings of Jesus, or in the form of "the highest ideals 
of humanity, which are known in contempory life" 
it will be presented. The important thing will not 
be where it came from, instead it will be its rele- 
vancy to the experience the learner is having, and 
its validity. On that basis, I am confident that the 
teachings and experience of Jesus, other experience 
recorded in the Bible, and the funded experience of 
the Christian movement, will all have a large place, 
for they are both relevant and valid. 

"Dr. Willett at Lexington" 

C. J. Armstrong, Hannibal, Mo. 

In 1901 the famous Congress, at which "Evolu- 
tion" was discussed, was held at Lexington, Ken- 
tucky. Four of us students (H. D. C. Maclachlan, 
R. W. Wallace, W. A. Fite, and the writer) were 
sitting in the lobby of the Phoenix Hotel when Dr. 
Willett entered the elevator and went to his room. 
I do not remember who suggested it, but, on the 
spur of the moment, we followed on the next trip 
of the elevator and invited him to deliver a course 
of lectures on "The Life and Work of Paul." Only 
those who attended that Congress or remember the 
theological conditions at Lexington in those days 
will appreciate how daring that act was. In 1899 
there had been a great rumpus over Dr. Willett's 
being on the program at the Pittsburgh convention. 
Also the President of the College of the Bible was 
most bitterly assailing Dr. Willett in his weekly 
column in "The Christian Standard." The discussion 
of evolution in the Congress had stirred up quite 
a muss. 

It was in that atmosphere that we four ap- 
proached Dr. Willett with our request. However, 


we found him most willing to accept our invitation. 
He voluntarily waived the usual financial terms and 
suggested his willingness to come for his expenses. 

Then, after leaving his room, we began to realize 
the obstacles in our way. How would we raise fifty 
dollars to finance it? Where would the lectures be 
held? Who would introduce him? What organiza- 
tion or group would sponsor the course of lectures? 
We realized that we could not bring him there under 
the auspices of four penniless students. Gradually 
our difficulties were solved. Mrs. Ida Withers Har- 
rison and some kindred souls came to our rescue 
financially. The official board of the Central Chris- 
tian Church granted the use of that church. The 
graduating class of Transylvania College (then 
Kentucky university) sponsored it and agreed to 
attend in caps and gowns. Dr. L J. Spencer grac- 
iously introduced Dr. Willett after some of the col- 
lege groups refused to do so. Dr. Willett came — and 
he conquered. He delivered two lectures a day for 
a week to capacity audiences. One thing that pleased 
us four immensely was that the freewill offerings 
were sufficient so that we did not have to call on 
Mrs. Harrison and other guarantors for any help. 
In fact those offerings were so large that we paid 
Dr. Willett a good deal more than he would have 
gotten at the regular rates of the extension depart- 
ment of the University of Chicago. 

Well, the fur did fly when that course of lectures 
was announced and the lithograph appeared in the 
store windows! But Dr. Willett's personal charm 
and tact, coupled with his marvelous platform 
ability and scholarly presentation of his lectures, 
completely won the hearts of all except the "Die- 
hards." In the years since then I never met Dr. 
Willett that he did not refer to that visit to Lexing- 
ton. I doubt if he ever gave a course of lectures 
from which he derived greater personal satisfaction. 
After he returned to Chicago he sent each one of us 


four an autographed photo of himself. In my files 
that picture is still treasured. 

About two years ago I received a letter from Dr. 
Willett asking for the dates of those lectures at 
Lexington for his autobigrophy. I am hoping that 
he finished it before he passed away. I know I 
would have the deepest interest in all of the experi- 
ences of that princely man. I would have an unus- 
ual interest in his account of that visit to Lexington 
in 1901. 

Today an unusually cordial welcome would be ex- 
tended to Dr. Willett at Lexington just as at all 
other places that he visited. But forty years ago, 
when the College of the Bible was our center of min- 
isterial training as well as of extreme orthodoxy, 
and to differ from its faculty was to be anathema, 
it was diiierent. But, even then, be it said to the 
glory of Dr. Willett, he achieved a purpose that has 
had a lasting effect of good upon the thinking of 
that College, that city, and our ministry trained 

I know it has given years of satisfaction to the 
four penniless students who invited him. 

The Faith of Christ 

Chauncey R. Piety, St. Louis, Mo. 

People are asking, "What can we believe and be 
honest? What must a faith determined to accept 
truth only, include?" These questions are basic to 
real Christianity. 

Jesus said "the truth shall make you free." He 
would not have us blindly believe anything because 
it is in any book. His love of the truth anticipates 
Paul's exhortation : "Prove all things, hold fast that 
which is good." Each man in search for truth should 
test it in every way of which he is capable. We 
think, however, that there is a fairly simple way 
for the average man to build Christian faith. 


Any man will profit to lay aside the faiths of 
Campbell, Wesley, Calvin, Augustine, and the Apos- 
tles ; and search the four Gospels to discover the 
faith of Christ. When he feels that he knows re- 
liatoly what Jesus believed and what he disbelieved, 
it would be well for him to accept the faith of 
Christ as his own. That means he would accept 
what Jesus would accept and reject what Jesus 
would reject. 

You hear some say, "The Old Testament is done 
away, Christ annulled it and gave us the New Tes- 
tament." Legalism offers that answer, but it is not 
so simple as that. We go on using the Old Testa- 
ment, and people are confused. Jesus Christ could 
not possibly cancel or annul the truth and the good 
in the Old Testament. But his life and teachings 
do blot out the doctrines and errors of men which 
are in the Old Testament. He could not change or 
blot out the word of God that is there. 

When a person has learned the faith of Christ, he 
should read the whole Bible and test each part of it 
by that faith. If he does this, he will discover that 
Christ believed part of the Bible and disbelieved 
part of it ; and that it is logical to do likewise. 

Jesus did not believe the many passages which his 
teachings either directly or indirectly contradicted. 
He did not believe in the law of revenge found in 
Exodus 21 :24, 25, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth 
for a tooth." He condemned it as unfit to live by, 
and suggested a better way. He did not believe in 
the Old Testament Law of divorce found in Deute- 
ronomy 24. It was too lax. And he gave stricter 
rules. The Old Testament approves polygamy, but 
Jesus did not. He said, "A man shall leave his 
father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and the 
two shall be one flesh." Jesus did not respect the 
law of meats in Deuteronomy 14, for he said, "It 
is not that which goeth into the mouth which de- 
fileth the man, but that which cometh out." And 


Mark adds, "This he said making all meats clean." 
Deuteronomy 14:21 says, "Thou shalt not eat of 
anything that dieth of itself; thou shalt give it unto 
the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat 
it; or thou mayest sell it to the alien; for thou art 
an holy people unto the Lord thy God." It is profane 
to think that Jesus believed in such practise. The 
Golden Rule is evidence that he did not. 

In the Old Testament the priests demanded 
bloody sacrifices and burnt offerings, but some of the 
prophets said that God did not require such things. 
Jesus took his stand with the prophets and said : "Go 
and learn what this meaneth: I desire mercy and 
not sacrifice." 

One of the most wicked laws of the Old Testament 
was that in Exodus 22:18 and Leviticus 20:27, com- 
manding that witches and people with evil spirits 
be put to death. Jesus did not accept it ; but healed 
Mary Magdalene and other similar people of his 
time. Nevertheless these verses caused thousands of 
innocent people, mostly old people, to be murdered. 
To call such verses the Word of God would be blas- 

When the Jews brought the woman taken in adul- 
tery to Jesus (John 8:1-12) they said: "Moses in 
the law commanded us that such should be stoned, 
but what sayest thou?" (Lev. 20:10). And we see 
that Jesus did not believe in killing such sinners. 
He rejected that law, forgave her and said, "go and 
sin no more." 

Many passages in the Old Testament narrate his- 
torical events, and then the old writers add their 
interpretations of the events. In some instances the 
history may be true, but their interpretations are 
erroneous. Christions should weigh such interpre- 
tations in the light of Jesus' teachings. If they har- 
monize with his teachings, they should be accepted ; 
if not, they should be rejected as errors of men. 

The 31st chapter of numbers describes Israel's 


war with Midian. It says that they defeated the 
Midianites, took their gold and silver and jewels, 
cattle, asses, sheep, and that they slaughtered all 
the males and mothers and kept 32,000 virgins for 
themselves. To make this worse the old writer 
affirms that God told them to do this. Possibly the 
Israelites did as the writer says : but God did not 
order or sanction it. For according to Jesus he is 
not that kind of a character. The Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ did not sanction that mess of 
murder, robbery, and rape. 

The case of King Saul and Samuel and the Amale- 
kites is analagous to the above. Samuel demanded 
that Saul slaughter all the Amalekites, and even 
their cattle and sheep; and he said the Lord com- 
manded it. The Lord God of Jesus Christ is not 
that kind of character. He did not command such 
things. Samuel got the bloody notions out of his 
own noodle. 

When the Israelites refused to go into the land 
of Canaan, Moses told them that God said: "I will 
smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, 
and will make of thee a greater nation and a might- 
ier than they." (Num. 14:11-20). Then Moses told 
them that he had persuaded God that such a plan 
would be unwise, and that God had consented to 
forgive them and let them live. Would Jesus be- 
lieve that God was wrong and that Moses corrected 
him and put him on the right track? No, Jesus 
said, "your Father in Heaven is perfect." Moses 
used this story on two occasions, but in the light 
of Jesus' teachings Moses was wrong. 

The 21st chapter of II Samuel tells us that there 
were three years of famine among the Gibeonites, 
and that God told David it was because of King 
Saul. Then David delivered seven sons of Saul to 
the Gibonites, and they hanged them. Then God 
was entreated for the land and the famine ended. 
The idea that God sent the famine and told David 


it was because of Saul and ended the famine because 
Saul's seven sons were hanged, is the interpretation 
of the old writer. Shall we believe it? The faith 
of Christ cannot. Christ taught that God was not 
that kind of character. Superstition and the polit- 
ical jealousy of David were at the bottom of the 

We have given but a few illustrations, but Chris- 
tians should test all the Scriptures by the faith of 
Christ. "Let that mind be in you which was also in 
Christ Jesus." Reread the Bible in the light of 
Christ. It will help you to reject the erroneous and 
evil and choose the true and good. 

Ordination Statement 

Benjamin F. Burns, Norwood Christian Church, 
Norwood, Ohio, June 18, 194-4- 

Since 1937 when I first made known my intention 
to enter the ministry, my close friends and my 
acquaintances have asked persistently this ques- 
tion: "Why are you going into the ministry?" Some 
of you have asked that question because you know 
me so intimately — my prankish spirit, my love of 
fun — and you have trouble reconciling that side of 
me with such a dignified and proper profession. We 
had better not go into that tonight except to say that 
my years of preparation and experience have not 
changed greatly that phase of my personality and 
there seems to be little hope for a change ahead. 
You will undoubtedly have trouble calling me Rev- 
erend. Some of you have asked me that question 
because you are not very deeply convinced of the 
significance and opportunity of the ministry, of the 
profession and its task in the world. We had better 
go into that carefully tonight. This statement cus- 
tomarily made by a candidate for ordination may 
help you to understand what I see in the ministry. 

As I see the ministry it is the most important 


task in the world today. It will continue to be the 
most important task in the world in all the tomor- 
rows that lie ahead for mankind. In war or peace, 
in prosperity or adversity, in this modern world or 
the more modern world to come — ^the ministry of 
the church of Christ is the most important task for 
for men. I am in the ministry for the very simple 
reason that I believe that about its place in the world 
and I deliberately and reasonably choose to devote 
myself to nothing less than the most important job 
in the world. 

I am well aware that every job of man — educa- 
tion, business, scholarship, labor, farming, artistry 
— makes an essential contribution to the common 
life of m.ankind. But the ministry is concerned with 
the bases upon which all other labor must be done. 
For the ministry is concerned to define the ends and 
values which all work must seek and to direct the 
human relations by which the world's work is ac- 
complished. Frequently we have tried to run busi- 
ness for the sake of business, education for the sake 
of education, art for art's sake, politics for the sake 
of politics. The result has not been a kingdom of 
love and peace but a piece meal, departmentalized 

The ministry is concerned with the deep seated 
purposes which must underlie all man's activities. 
It is concerned with the meaning of the world itself, 
with the nature of man, with the basis of a sound 
society of goodwill and cooperation. It is concerned 
with helping men to find that the message of Jesus 
found in his life and teachings and his cross is 
really the message of God for all mankind over all 
the earth. 

Every minister and every intelligent churchman 
is aware that frequently the church and the ministry 
has not been preeminently concerned with these 
matters of real life problems. Too frequently the 
church has gotten bogged down in words and creeds 


and dogmas and institutionalism. But the church 
and its ministry are yet the hope of the world be- 
cause their message about the quality of life which 
Jesus exemplified as the quality of God's life and 
the ideal of man's life is yet true. Wherever men are 
living a life of love there is the real church. In 
order to assist men to have this supreme quality of 
life, as I see the ministry it must in the words of 
E. S. Ames, seek to "make religion as intelligent 
as science, as appealing as the arts, as vital as a 
day's work, as intimate as home, and as inspiring 
as love." 

A ministry of this kind will lead men beside the 
great still waters of inspiration in this world, it 
will inspire them to take up their crosses and fol- 
low Jesus. Such a ministry will be a foe of intol- 
erance and a champion of love. It will be a foe of 
privilege and exclusiveness and a champion of an 
inclusive democratic way. Such a ministry will be 
a foe of slavery in all its forms : the slavery imposed 
by ignorance, the slavery imposed by economic 
want, the slavery imposed by commitment to any 
value other than the supreme value — the way of life 
of Jesus. It will champion a freedom based on com- 
mitment to the way of God. 

I pray that I may be worthy of the noble heritage 
of the ministry : that I may have the courage of the 
prophets to face undaunted the kings and thrones, 
principalities and powers of this world; that I may 
have the patience of the unnumbered millions of 
pastors and preachers and give myself unstintingly 
to humble service to men and God ; that I may have 
the insight of the seers to continue incessantly the 
search for knowledge and truth ; that I may face the 
church fearlessly with the great religious reformers 
of all the ages and call it to repentance and greater 
achievement in the way of Jesus, and that I may be 
so devoted to the way of love that I shall be able 
to face a cross without fear or faltering. 


Ordination of Benjamin F. Bums 

E. S. Ames, Dean of Disciples Divinity House 
My dear friend : I desire to speak in quite a per- 
sonal way on this occasion of your ordination, con- 
cerning the duties and responsibilities of the Chris- 
tian ministry. We have often talked of many of 
these matters during the three years of your train- 
ing at the University of Chicago. Now they come 
home to both of us in a still more vital way as you 
here take upon yourself the vows of your life work. 
It is a happy circumstance that your ordination 
takes place in this, your home church, among your 
relatives, friends and companions of all your years. 
This is evidence of your steadfastness and of the 
esteem in which you hold your calling. You have 
had a high regard for all that the ministry involves 
and your acquaintance with the wider ranges of 
scholarship through college and graduate study has 
enriched and enhanced your appreciation of reli- 
gion and its practical value. Many people, even some 
church members, do not properly appraise the path 
you have chosen to follow. I have told you about the 
fine lady who observed your popularity on a social 
occasion and who remarked to me as we sat at one 
side of the room that she thought it a pity that a 
young man like you should 'be going into the min- 
istry. Her idea was that you could succeed in other 
professions or in business and therefore really won- 
dered why you would want to spend your days as 
a preacher. Her words, spoken so surely and so 
lightly as if no intelligent person could have any 
other opinion, surprised me. I replied with a smiling 
scepticism as to whether she could really be in earn- 
est, but it was painfully apparent that she had ex- 
pressed a settled opinion. That view is not uncom- 
mon. It is very natural and very human for peo- 
ple, in our society, to estimate success by the inci- 
dentals of income or popularity. It is just one of 
those things that a young minister has to encounter 
and it is something he is challenged to answer and 


overcome by his whole life of devotion to the things 
that are truly great and enduring. One of the great- 
est needs of our time is a conception and expression 
of religion that will give it the high place and dig- 
nity that it has when rightly interpreted and worth- 
ily lived. It is true that the ministry does not prom- 
ise great financial returns, but it offers something 
more valuable, and that is companionship with the 
greatest minds and hearts. It has already brought 
you into understanding fellowship with the might- 
iest intellects of the race and it will identify you 
still more through the years with the spiritual lead- 
ers of mankind, with teachers of youth, with scien- 
tists pursuing the highest knowledge, with philoso- 
phers, artists, poets and musicians. Your tasks will 
bring you into association with those who strive 
most sincerely to discover and enhance the finest 
traits of human personality -both in the lowliest and 
the most privileged individuals. The Christian re- 
ligion is the greatest democratic force in the world. 
It teaches the inestimable worth of every man and 
woman, and therefore it brings hope for every lost 
soul, and greater possibilities for "those who are 
neither poor, ignorant, nor depraved." It will be 
your fascinating endeavor to make this good gospel 
a living force in every heart you touch. You will 
often be surprised to see how this old, old story 
moves and lifts the plainest people, and the loftiest 
people, who have ears to hear it and the will to 
follow it. 

You have been reared and shaped in a movement 
within the old historic religion of the western world. 
The Disciples of Christ, here on what was once the 
geographical frontier, pioneered a religious frontier. 
They moved toward a genuine democracy in their 
churches as they labored to develop a working polit- 
ical democracy. It was a laymen's movement, with 
the Bible as their constitution, and with no priestly 
control over their conscience. They sought to make 
citizenship in the kingdom of heaven as free as cit- 
izenship in the state. In the church, as in the state, 


their object was to establish a union in which the 
rights and opinions of free men should be recog- 
nized and sacredly guarded. The enthusiasm for po- 
litical freedom and union under the constitution 
was matched by an equally great enthusiasm for 
religious freedom and union under the constitution 
given in the New Testament. Just as this political 
freedom and union are still the goals of the Ameri- 
can system of government, so the Disciples cherish 
freedom and union in religion. Our Disciples cause 
is an expression of a profound historic movement in 
our English and American culture which began with 
the Renaissance and which has produced new 
sciences, philosophies, and arts. It has had vital 
religious consequences, and it will be part of your 
opportunity to enter into this heritage and give it 
clearer and more effective operation. We are already 
threatened with the suffocation of our essential 
ideas and spirit by the machinery of organization, 
the hardening cake of custom, and the waste of 
brains and energy in discussion of small and fruit- 
less questions. We need more ministers with your 
gifts of poetry, music, dramatization, and reflection. 
There are great days ahead for all the churches, 
of all names, that have come to terms with the 
culture distinctive of the last century. The post-war 
days are coming when men will get home from the 
fronts on which they fight and suffer now. Chaplains 
already report that men in training camps are not 
indifferent to religion and are inquiring for a faith 
that is intelligent and robust enough to endure ca- 
tastrophe and tragedy. Stories and pictures are 
telling of heroisms and adventures beyond anything 
men could even imagine before. We shall not only 
have to meet the men coming home to the churches 
but we shall have to find words for those who stayed 
at home through it all and who will wonder why 
God let it all happen, and whether it is possible that 
such a calamity can be prevented in the future. Man 
has learned to travel over land and sea and through 


the air. Can he learn to build new highways of the 
spirit, fathom the depths of the soul, and create a 
society of brotherhood and good will? Every sermon, 
every wedding service, every funeral hour, every 
conversation about religion should carry a quality 
of faith and love which promise an answer to that 
question. It is in the pastoral ministry that the 
questions of life and death, and the real meaning 
of our existence, reach the inner springs of charac- 
ter and give shape to the things that are to be. The 
religion of Jesus Christ carries the secret of peace 
and comfort for our troubled world. When rightly 
preached and lived it can solve the tensions that dis- 
turb the world by furthering understanding, justice, 
and love. To you is committed a share in this nobl- 
est task. Here, in this sacred place, hallowed by so 
many memories and hopes, we dedicate you, and 
you dedicate yourself, as a faithful servant of Jesus 
Christ to proclaim and nurture in the hearts of all 
you meet this saving word. Fight the good fight. 
"Always be composed; do not shrink from hard- 
ship ; do your work as a missionary, and your whole 
duty as a minister." 

Financial Secretary's Page 

A. T. DeGroot 
Anything can happen in America, and (as its 
critics .were wont to believe years ago) this goes 
double for the Campbell Institute. For example, 
where else will you find college presidents and others 
of equal aplomb pausing in the midst of war's stress 
to indite poetry to a financial secretary? As proof 
I submit these lilting lines (with apologies to Kip- 
ling) from J. C. Miller of Christian College, Colum- 
bia, Mo. : 
When earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes 

are twisted and dried, 
When the oldest colors have faded, and A. T. De- 

Grott has died. 
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it — lie down 

for an aeon or two, 


'Till that man shall arouse us from our long, sweet 

To remind us subscriptions are due. 

I shall call M. A. Warren of Petersburg, 111., the 
pied piper of the Institute if his suggestion with his 
dues enclosure really works. He opines — 
Though the question may be moot, 
Am I fiscal, or am I Noot, 
If I am, get out your flute, 
That my colleagues follow suit! 
From the little province of Texas, village of 
Wichita Falls, Kelly O'Neall pens these lines of just- 
ification and regeneration : 

A fiscal galoot named DeGroot 
Has threatened to give me the boot. 
I confess I'm remiss. 
So I'm sending him this ; 
We must stand by the ol' Institute! 
Epistles equally weighty but in prose inform this 
office of inspiring achievements in various parishes. 
Chester Hensley of Ft. Madison, Iowa, reports liq- 
uidation of a $34,000 debt, with savings accumulat- 
ing for future improvements. The same sort of over- 
subscription enabled Estherville, Iowa, with Mark 
Scott minister, to clear for action with some $5,000. 
Instituter L. K. Bishop is driving for $21,000 at 
Central, DesMoines. As for the program under Jim 
Tilsley, Wichita, Kansas (yes, he's paid!), the out- 
lines of a brilliant future remain dim only because 
of the dust of a busy present. 

President Emeritus E. M. Waits sends delightful 
lines of appreciation for the fellowship and work 
of the Institute. This enables me to inform sundry 
brethren, the year-end problem children, that des- 
pite their lack of dues we stand in the best position 
financially it has been my pleasure to know. A few 
more payments and we will have faith to throw 
away that bottle of red ink so indispensable in 
leaner years. 

See you at the Institute in August! 


Campbell Institute 


Monday, July 31, 9:30 P.M. 

Annual Communion Service 

. Richard Lentz, Leader 

Tuesday, August 1, 2 P.M. . . 

Address, "Science Is Religious," Dean Seth 


Discussion Leader W. P. Harman 

Tuesday, 9:30 P.M. 

President's Address, "The Disciples and the 

New World Order" T. T. Swearingen 

Business — Appointment of Committees. 

Wednesday Afternoon (Baseball Game). 

Wednesday, 9:30 P.M. 

Fiftieth Anniversary, Disciples Divinity House, 

W. B. Blakemore, Jr. 
Address — "Some Things a Preacher Ought to 

Know" Edgar DeWitt Jones 

Discussion Leader J. Alger Lollis 

Thursday, 2 P.M. 

Address — "The Place of Religion in General 

Education" Charles Clayton Morrison 

Discussion Leader W.H. Cramblett 

Thursday, 6 :30 P.M. 

Memorial Dinner, Dr. Ames, Chairman. 
Tributes to Dr. Willett: 

1. The Man, Thomas Curtis Clark. 

2. The Preacher, 0. F. Jordan. 

3. The Scholar, W. E. Garrison. 

4. The Christian Statesman, Harold E. Fey. 

Friday, 2 P.M. 

Address — "A Theology for Times Like 

These" Homer Carpenter 

Discussion Leader Gerald Sias 

Herbert Lockwood Willett 


Vol. XLII SEPTEMBER, 1944 No. 1 

A New Watchword for Disciples 

John L. Davis 
In Convocation Address, Chicago, June 11 

When Thomas Campbell, an Irish Presbyterian 
preacher called in a group of his neighbors to listen 
to his "Declaration and Address" neither he nor 
they perceived that the stand they were taking 
would in time cast them adrift in the ecclesiastical 
world. They sincerely believed that they were 
merely stirring up again the waves of influence from 
the great Reformation of Luther and Calvin which 
had been allowed to subside into the still and placid 
waters of a deep clear pool — beautiful, useful, filled 
with the water of life, but subject also to stagnation 
and death if allowed to remain so indefinitely. 

Thus, "Reformation" was the first watchword of 
the Disciples of Christ. They were setting in mo- 
tion again, they thought, that spirit which had made 
such immeasurable gains for political and intellec- 
tual liberty, for individual growth and responsi- 
bility, and for the restoration of a purged and glori- 
fied Christianity in the 16th and 17th centuries. 
They, like Luther in the beginning of his work, had 
no thought of forming a new church or denomina- 
tion. In fact, such a project would have run con- 
trary to their basic purpose which was to work as 
"Christians only" within the established churches 
in order to reform them. "Nothing," they declared, 
"ought to be inculcated upon Christians as articles 
of faith, nor required of them as terms of com- 
munion, but what is expressly taug-ht and enjoined 
upon them in the Word of God. . . ." 

When did this simple, devout, and utterly sincere 
movement within established churches perceive that 
it was impossible to hold to its views and remain a 


part of the denominations? Was it the experience 
of being^ rejected coldly by those churches? Was 
it the experience of being cast out by the Presby- 
terians and later to find it impossible to remain 
within the fold of the Baptists? I do not know. I 
only know that such events occurred and that they 
forced the little groups here and there to begin to 
think of themselves as a movement no longer in- 
cluded in the other communions but dedicated to the 
task of calling out the clearest and best hearts from 

This change in status required a new watchword 
and a new aim. "Restoration" now became their 
watchword and full re-establishment of the primi- 
tive church, became their aim — for it was, they 
felt sure, only necessary to make Christians in all 
denominations see the pristine beauty and sim- 
plicity of the New Testament church to attract them 
to the new movement. 

Christian union, however, remained for them the 
goal, the motivating purpose. Restoration was sim- 
ply their method for attaining it. Reformation from 
within the churches had failed to bring union. Res- 
toration would surely succeed, they held, for the 
light of the simple New Testament church and its 
unadorned, unencumbered gospel would certainly 
appeal to all who loved the Lord above human 
creeds and customs. 

Joined by powerful allies from Ohio and Ken- 
tucky, the movement made rapid, even miraculous 
progress. But looking back now from the vantage 
point of today we must, if we are honest, admit that 
there was never the remotest possibility of their 
achieving the great objective, even in the limited 
field of American Protestantism. Failure in the 
grand design was inherent from its inception. One 
can cite many reasons almost offhand for that 
failure : 


The advance of Biblical scholarship, as shown 
in the rapid and precocious growth of Alexander 
Campbell himself, was soon to remove the area of 
certainty and literal authority from the New Testa- 
ment on which these reformers based their whole 
appeal. The rise in the general level of culture did 
much to banish the spirit of illiberalism, extreme 
bigotry, and sectarianism which this movement was 
designed to correct. This same fact led to great 
advance in education and training of the ministry, 
lifting preachers out of the woeful state of ignor- 
ance in which Thomas Campbell found them. 
Change, too, in the objectives, the practices, and 
attitudes of major Protestant bodies also did much 
to eliminate the more flagrant abuses which gave 
the early reformers prime targets for attack. 

The search for Christian union which was all- 
important for our fathers, was to remain for them 
a search. They died believing that they needed only 
more time to see its complete realization. 

Now we have advanced far enough to see that 
Christian union will come in time — but in a manner 
more in keeping with the principles and spirit of 
the "Declaration and Address," than in the period 
when restoration of a primitive New Testament 
church was advocated. It will come by Federation 
— not by "calling out" the clear minded saints from 
the so-called "sects" and denominations. Organic 
union and mergers between communions will prob- 
ably continue until large, orderly bodies powerful 
enough to give effect to the world-wide programs 
now demanded by all communions are created — but 
no one in his fondest dreams can now imagine the 
process of organic union continuing until Metho- 
dists, Baptists, Episcopalians, and Quakers, all 
worship indiscriminately in neighborhood churches. 

Federation enables us to preserve all that is val- 
uable and culturally suitable in the differences 
within the great communions, and even offers us a 


means of exchange of opinion, power, and appre- 
ciation between bodies so far apart in spirit and 
practice as Greek Orthodoxy and American Congre- 
gationalism. As art depends for vigor and orig- 
inality on the stimulus of the different among men, 
so religion finds much here that it dare not sacrifice. 
Through federation, however, Christianity can 
regain the lost sense of its essential unity, purpose, 
the problems of our world. Through federation the 
and power without which it cannot hope to meet 
"free" churches and the liturgical communions, 
those of simple and those of complex polity, those 
with rigid creeds and those who denounce creeds, 
can make common cause in their great social, po- 
litical, and religious objectives. Through federation, 
as national states are finding out, men may co-oper- 
ate without sacrifice of liberty. 

Obviously then, if we Disciples have nothing but 
history to inspire us, we are a people adrift and 
with our basic purposes already realized in such 
large measure that other great communions now 
work more zealously for their attainment than do 
we ourselves. 

But, equally obvious to any impartial observer, 
we are a people who show no signs of being either 
adrift, or purposeless, or given to unusual seizures 
of nostalgia. 

Dr. W. E. Garrison in a wise observation gives 
us, I think, a most revealing answer. He remarks : 
", . . with the passing years it has become increas- 
ingly clear that in the history of a religious body 
the most significant factors are not its doctrines or 
its philosophical backgrounds, important as these 
are, but rather the responses which it makes to the 
changing social and cultural situation in which it 
finds itself." 

One can scarcely describe the present social and 
cultural situation without using the word chaos. 


But it is, I firmly believe, a chaos like that described 
in Genesis on which the Ancient of Days may 
breathe and brood until He brings forth an ordered 
world among- men, as he then brought the seething 
conflict of elements into harmony. But such lan- 
guage is dangerous! No order will emerge out of 
the present chaos by fiat. Creative, constructive, 
spiritually resourceful men and women, whose 
vision and power are equal to our opportunity, must 
mold and shape and build a world order which will 
triumph over the forces of disorder and death. What 
will be your response. Disciples of Christ, to the 
social and cultural situation in which you find 
yourselves? Will it, in vigor, in daring, in creative- 
ness be worthy of that which our fathers made in 
their day? What will be the response of our move- 
ment in days to come, when cynicism and reaction 
will tempt us sorely to retreat into convention and 
tradition ? 

The Disciples need a new watchword. Not be- 
cause it will have value in itself but perhaps, if for 
no other reason, to wean them away from the 
watchword "Restoration" which practically is as 
dead for them as the dodo is for the zoologist. 

There is no one word which entirely satisfies our 
need — none which will do for us what Reformation 
and Restoration did for our fathers. 

For months I have turned this over in mind and 
have searched vainly for the word. Activation, co- 
operation, realization only approximate it but in 
desperation the last of these must be made to carry 
the burden of meaning which a better word should 
bear. Reformation and even Restoration were good 
vehicles in their day — but their day belongs to his- 
tory. As an empirically minded people we must see 
that we are now in our period of Realization. 

Our fathers held no doubt about what they wished 
to restore. We must be equally certain of what it 
is we wish to bring into being — to make real to the 


people in the churches and in the institutions of our 

It will be rather futile, my dear friends, to preach 
pious homilies from the pulpit each Sunday morn- 
ing if the novels, plays, poems, short stories, learned 
articles and essays, news stories and editorials are 
filling the mind and heart of your people through- 
out the week with ideas and tastes which make of 
those homilies mere matters of form. You must, 
in very truth, take the world for your parish. 

Some ministers may plead the binding hold of 
custom, tradition, and point to the chains of ecclesi- 
astical organization as causes for their failure to 
mold and shape the mind of their people. But the 
Disciple minister cannot do so. Here my young 
friends, is your great opportunity. You are free. 
No ecclesiastical overlord can tell you what you 
shall not preach and do in your church. Only your 
people may do that and it is your supreme privilege 
to build the patterns of thought, the aspirations and 
desires of those to whom you are responsible. You 
belong to a movement, that is true. Every movement 
has a common -body of thought, distinct character- 
istics, certain common aspirations, and patterns of 
action. But in this movement you will find the 
widest possible latitude of thought, of utterance, 
and of aspiration. Here are also the widest pat- 
terns of action ; from those of the slothful, the timid, 
or the bigoted all the way up to the energetic, the 
bold, the man of broadest mind and most blessed 
temperament. In this movement you are free to 
become men of discernment, judgment, prophetic 
power and revolutionary achievement. 

You come to the church at a time when so wise 
and great a man as Dr. William Ernest Hocking is 
saying that a world order based on law, which is 
the immediate goal of most civilized men, "must be 
supplemented by a world order based on faith"; a 
time in which the statesmen and great men of the 


earth, as well as the humblest persons, are turning 
to the church with new wistfulness and respect, 
realizing that despite its defects "it has something 
which men and nations need and which they do not 
know how to find anywhere else." 

Disciples Divinity House Beginnings 

Perry J. Rice, Southgate, California 
The Disciples Divinity House of the University 
of Chicago was founded fifty years ago this summer. 
Half a century is not a long period in the march 
of time but it is long enough to witness the passing 
of many of the men who promoted the House and 
the advanced age of those who remain. A new 
generation has arisen many of whom are not fa- 
miliar with the circumstances which led to the 
founding of the House or any of the events con- 
nected with it. It may be assumed, therefore, that 
some of them, at least will be interested to know 
something concerning the beginning and early his- 
tory of an institution that has developed so steadily 
and contributed so much to the cause for which the 
Disciples plead. 

The year 1893 was an important year in Ameri- 
can history. It was the year in which the great 
Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago, and in 
connection with it, an event of unique importance 
known as The Parliament of Religions. The Dis- 
ciples of Christ were interested in both of these 
events and held their National Convention that year 
in Chicago. It will be remembered that the Uni- 
versity of Chicago, with William Rainey Harper as 
its President, had opened its doors to students only 
the year before and that a great deal of interest had 
been aroused in it especially in the middle west 
where the Disciples had their numerical strength. 
Herbert L. Willett, who had been a student under 
Dr. Harper in Yale had followed him to Chicago 


and was continuing his studies in the University. 
Knowing of his dream of denominational houses in 
such relation to the University that students con- 
nected with them might take advantage of all the 
facilities afforded by the University and at the same 
time remain in close relation with their respective 
denominations, and, desiring that the Disciples 
should, at least, know of the plan, he arranged to 
have President Harper appear before a representa- 
tive group of Disci